In Contact! Jan turns her brilliantly observant eye to the human contacts she made, across the globe and though the decades. As a series of vignettes, some only a few lines long, she records hundreds of brief glimpses and fleeting encounters, celebrating the people who helped spark her view of the world and mould her responses. A vast range of human experience is here: most are anonymous, everyday encounters - children playing, a homeless man in Manhattan, a lascivious taxi-driver - but she also remembers celebrated figures, from Yves San Laurent to King Hussein of Jordan, President Truman to Peter OToole.
Contact! is a must for any fans of Jan's writing. Her great sense of amusement, shrewd eye for detail and huge enthusiasm for her contacts makes these episodes incredibly enjoyable - and often profound.
Jan Morris was born in 1926 of a Welsh father and an English mother, and when she is not travelling she lives with her partner Elizabeth Morris in the top left-hand corner of Wales, between the mountains and the sea. Her books include Coronation Everest, Venice, The Pax Britannica Trilogy (Heaven's Command, Pax Britannica, and Farewell the Trumpets), and Conundrum. She is also the author of six books about cities and countries, two autobiographical books, several volumes of collected travel essays and the unclassifiable Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. A Writer's World, a collection of her travel writing and reportage from over five decades, was published in 2003. Hav, her novel, was published in a new and expanded form in 2006.