Wall to Wall

Mary Morris, Author Nan A. Talese $19.5 (259p) ISBN 978-0-385-41465-4
Readers of Morris's Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Travelling Alone will also be delighted with her new travel memoir, in which the author, with a superb command of language, imaginatively recreates a world few have ventured to. Embarking on a search in 1986 for her Russian ancestors, she found herself in the midst of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and observing the last vestiges of the Cold War. Her details are interesting both on the public scale--such as when she visits the Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky--and on the private, as when she meets an unnamed former fighter in the Bolshevik revolution wandering the streets of Leningrad. She describes the histories of each city she visited on her extensive train journey: Moscow, Leningrad, the Forbidden Imperial Citysic of China. With eloquence, Morris characterizes the people she meets, making each real. She has the rare touch of the true travel writer: readers will feel they've walked along the Great Wall of China with her, tasted sand from the Gobi Desert as it flew in a Trans-Siberian Express window, glimpsed the Berlin Wall from the Eastern side. And perhaps most intriguing are the intimations of changes to come--the beginnings of endings that were just around the corner. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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