Ariel: A Literary Life of Jan Morris

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9780571331635: Ariel: A Literary Life of Jan Morris

Jan Morris is one of the great British writers of the post-war era. Soldier, journalist, writer about places (rather than ‘travel writer’), elegist of the British Empire, novelist, she has fashioned a distinctive prose style that is elegant, fastidious, supple, and sometimes gloriously gaudy. For many readers she is best known for her candid memoir Conundrum, which described the gender reassignment operation she underwent in 1972.

But as Ariel demonstrates, this is just one of the many remarkable facts about her life. As James Morris she was the journalist who brought back the story of the conquest of Everest in 1953 and who discovered incontrovertible evidence of British involvement in the Suez Crisis of 1956. She has been described by Rebecca West as the finest prose stylist of her time, and her essays span the entire urban world. Her many books include a classic on Venice, a 1,600 page history of the British Empire, and a homage to what is perhaps her favorite city, Trieste. Her writings on Wales represent the most thorough literary investigation of that mysterious land.

Derek Johns was Jan Morris’s literary agent for twenty years. Ariel is not a conventional biography, but rather an appreciation of the work and life of someone who besides being a delightful writer is known to many people as a generous, affectionate, witty and irreverent friend. It is published to coincide with her 90th birthday.

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About the Author:

Derek Johns has been a bookseller, editor, publisher and literary agent. He is a former trustee of English PEN and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. His novel The Billy Palmer Chronicles was published in 2010. He lives in London.

Review:

"Those unfamiliar with Morris's life will enjoy Ariel...Johns quotes copiously from the Morrisonian oeuvre. He catches his quarry well with adroit turns of phrase." - Observer

"As well as analysing her style, this book also reminds us that Morris was, fundamentally, a bloody good journalist." - The Times

"[an] elegant little volume, which is as much an anthology of excerpts from Morris's writings as it is a 'literary life'...Derek Johns, who was Morris's agent for 20 years, has written an affectionate portrait, although not a hagiography...Her writings should be celebrated and enjoyed, and Ariel provides an admirable introduction to them and to Morris's peripatetic life." - The Sunday Times

"Morris, on the basis that she doesn't do journeys, has never regarded herself as a travel writer, but she is undoubtedly one of the great conjurers of place. Anyone who has enjoyed that aspect of her work will enjoy Derek Johns's tribute." - The Daily Telegraph

"Johns, a novelist in his own right, knits his materials elegantly, adroitly and with affection." - New Statesman

"Morris has always rejected the idea of a biography. But Derek Johns was her literary agent for two decades and knows her and her output well, so, with her help (and her own delightful line drawings), he has written a 'literary life' - really an affectionate memoir, which is shortish, sharp and full of insight... Johns describes her as 'generous, witty, irreverent and affectionate', and suggests that, if she has a religion, it is kindness. He has shown skill and sensitivity in chronicling Morris's brave and cheerful journey through life, where travel has often been a vehicle for an expression of inner transformation." - Literary Review

"...what Johns offers is much more than a patchwork of extracts. His own prose is elegant and his insights incisive, and though he is affectionate he is not always uncritical." - MAGGIE FERGUSSON

"...a discreet, affectionate presentation of the writer’s work, somewhere between a biographical essay and a compendium, Johns’s words are in effect a framing device, to usher in Morris’s own. Ariel is unusual because – apart from anything else – most biographers aren’t granted permission to quote at such length. Morris’s delicate line drawings are a highlight." - Daily Telegraph Books of the Year

"Perhaps the best descriptive writer of our time." - Rebecca West

"I don't think there's a writer alive who has Jan Morris's serenity or strength." - Paul Theroux

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2017. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jan Morris is one of the great British writers of the post-war era. Soldier, journalist, writer about places (rather than travel writer ), elegist of the British Empire, novelist, she has fashioned a distinctive prose style that is elegant, fastidious, supple, and sometimes gloriously gaudy. For many readers she is best known for her candid memoir Conundrum, which described the gender reassignment operation she underwent in 1972. But as Ariel demonstrates, this is just one of the many remarkable facts about her life. As James Morris she was the journalist who brought back the story of the conquest of Everest in 1953 and who discovered incontrovertible evidence of British involvement in the Suez Crisis of 1956. She has been described by Rebecca West as the finest prose stylist of her time, and her essays span the entire urban world. Her many books include a classic on Venice, a 1,600 page history of the British Empire, and a homage to what is perhaps her favourite city, Trieste. Her writings on Wales represent the most thorough literary investigation of that mysterious land. Derek Johns was Jan Morris s literary agent for twenty years. Ariel is not a conventional biography, but rather an appreciation of the work and life of someone who besides being a delightful writer is known to many people as a generous, affectionate, witty and irreverent friend. It is published to coincide with her 90th birthday. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780571331635

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2017. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jan Morris is one of the great British writers of the post-war era. Soldier, journalist, writer about places (rather than travel writer ), elegist of the British Empire, novelist, she has fashioned a distinctive prose style that is elegant, fastidious, supple, and sometimes gloriously gaudy. For many readers she is best known for her candid memoir Conundrum, which described the gender reassignment operation she underwent in 1972. But as Ariel demonstrates, this is just one of the many remarkable facts about her life. As James Morris she was the journalist who brought back the story of the conquest of Everest in 1953 and who discovered incontrovertible evidence of British involvement in the Suez Crisis of 1956. She has been described by Rebecca West as the finest prose stylist of her time, and her essays span the entire urban world. Her many books include a classic on Venice, a 1,600 page history of the British Empire, and a homage to what is perhaps her favourite city, Trieste. Her writings on Wales represent the most thorough literary investigation of that mysterious land. Derek Johns was Jan Morris s literary agent for twenty years. Ariel is not a conventional biography, but rather an appreciation of the work and life of someone who besides being a delightful writer is known to many people as a generous, affectionate, witty and irreverent friend. It is published to coincide with her 90th birthday. Bookseller Inventory # AA99780571331635

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Book Description Faber & Faber. Book Condition: New. Jan Morris is one of the great British writers of the post-war era. For many readers she is best known for her candid memoir Conundrum, which described the gender reassignment operation she underwent in 1972. In this book, the author demonstrates that this is just one of the many remarkable facts about her life. Num Pages: 208 pages. BIC Classification: BGL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 146 x 301 x 22. Weight in Grams: 374. . 2017. Main. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780571331635

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Book Description Faber & Faber, 2017. Book Condition: New. Jan Morris is one of the great British writers of the post-war era. For many readers she is best known for her candid memoir Conundrum, which described the gender reassignment operation she underwent in 1972. In this book, the author demonstrates that this is just one of the many remarkable facts about her life. Num Pages: 208 pages. BIC Classification: BGL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 146 x 301 x 22. Weight in Grams: 374. . 2017. Main. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780571331635

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