Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone

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 the Guatemala, Mary Morris confronts the realities of place, of poverty, of machismo, and of her own self. 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. By crossing ...
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Nothing to Declare

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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 the Guatemala, Mary Morris confronts the realities of place, of poverty, of machismo, and of her own self. 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. By crossing new boundaries, she learns to set new frontiers for herself as a woman.
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Editorial Reviews

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
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816147304
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 6/1/1989
  • Pages: 355

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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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2002

    an amazing literary experience, a traveler must-read

    Mary describes her travels in a way that makes this book flow like a novel while also providing factual information that is very valuable to know if you're a woman looking to do some traveling. Her honest accounts of her experiences, feelings and childhood memories help pull you into her story because she seems more like a friend spilling her guts back from a long vacation rather than some glamorous, traveling socialite. I would reccommend this book to any female that either travels on a regular basis or just simply wants to begin. I promise reading it will excite your traveling desires within!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2005

    That guy didn't get it.

    This is a beautifully written memoir that's as much about the author's inner landscape as it is about her travels in central America. I picked it up recently, over 10 years after first reading it, and it's still my favorite book. My own life experiences and choices are echoed here, and I don't see that often.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2004

    Pretty dull and uneventful

    Ah, let's see, what's the subject of this book? Geez I can't remember. She writes a little about her neighbor-lady in San Miguel and the neighbor's illegitimate offspring. She goes from loving her boyfriend to hating him with no explanation why. She torques her best friend enough that the friend basically ditches her, but again we aren't really told why; maybe the author just can't describe things very well. She travels around Central America a little but all we hear about are the boring bus rides and hot hotels. Yeah, it was a waste of time to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2004

    WOW

    reading this book has opened something inside of me. I find myself looking at the way I live differently. My sense of self is somehow evolving through the triggers of this womans experiences. I seek my own adventure now.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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