Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone

Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone

by Mary Morris
     
 

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Traveling from the highland desert of northern Mexico to the steaming jungles of Honduras, from the seashore of the Caribbean to the exquisite highlands of Guatemala, Mary Morris, a celebrated writer of both fiction and nonfiction, confronts the realities of place, poverty, machismo, and selfhood. As she experiences the rawness and precariousness of life in another

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Overview

Traveling from the highland desert of northern Mexico to the steaming jungles of Honduras, from the seashore of the Caribbean to the exquisite highlands of Guatemala, Mary Morris, a celebrated writer of both fiction and nonfiction, confronts the realities of place, poverty, machismo, and selfhood. As she experiences the rawness and precariousness of life in another culture, Morris begins to hear echoes of her own life and her own sense of deprivation. And she begins, too, to overcome the struggles of the past that have held her back personally; as in the very best travel writing, Morris effectively explores her own soul while exploring new terrain and new experience. By crossing such boundaries throughout the pages of Nothing to Declare, she sets new frontiers for herself as a woman—and as a writer.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Morris] is a fascinating guide, with an eye for the brutal, the garish, the silly, and the bizarre . . . The energy of her motion carries the reader with her."—Time

"The union of a travel book and a journey into the self. The vibrancy of that union is on every page . . . A true story and an artfully told one . . . Compelling . . . Nothing to Declare is impeccably, internally timed."—The New York Times Book Review

"The most memorable travel writing, from Marco Polo on Kubla Khan's concubines to Bruce Chatwin on aborigines, is about a different kind of journey, one that takes the reader on an exploration of the jungles of the soul. Mary Morris's account of her travels is very much in the tradition of these interior voyages . . . Morris does best when she writes about what she does and sees."—Chicago Tribune

"Stunning . . . Evocative, reverberant, powerful, and moving."—Kirkus Reviews

"Remarkable . . . Always completely honest . . . Morris's book is positively inspiring."—New York Woman

"Morris is one gutsy woman and one fantastic writer . . . A riveting account of living in Mexico and traveling through Latin America."—Cosmopolitan

"Morris captures well the climate of unpredictability and timelessness that exists [in Mexico] . . . She paints a deft and devastating portrait of bored, sidetracked American expatriates, passing year after year in the bars and restaurants of San Miguel."—Joyce Maynard, Mademoiselle

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Author of short stories and the novel Crossroads, Morris here writes a memoir of her solitary travels through Latin America. Covering the peregrinations of approximately 18 months, she first describes arriving in a fugue-like state at the tiny Mexican village of San Miguel where she was befriended by the extremely poor Lupe and her children. The story continues with Morris's disclosures of sexual affairs, a particularly absorbing account of her stay in Nicaragua, recollections of brief companionships with people she met. The writing is lyrical but often histrionically self-absorbed and so personal that the reader feels voyeuristic. The most memorable part of the book focuses on Lupe, who endures life's meanest blows and remains hopeful. (March)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312199418
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
11/28/1998
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.66(d)

Meet the Author

Mary Morris's books include her new memoir, Angels & Aliens: A California Journey, the novels House Arrest, The Night Sky, and the story collection The Lifeguard. A recipient of the Rome Prize for Literature, she teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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