cover image Pleasures of a Tangled Life

Pleasures of a Tangled Life

Jan Morris. Random House (NY), $18.95 (209pp) ISBN 978-0-394-57649-7

Travel writer and essayist Morris states here that she wrote this celebration of personal pleasures as an obverse to Conundrum , her 1974 account of her sex-change operation and search for self-definition. In this idiosyncratic potpourri she extols wines, Abysinnian cats, driving a car while listening to music, the smell of books, her imaginary affair with a long-dead admiral. She considers herself an animal liberationist, a gastronome, a pantheist, an anarchist. The book contains unexpected peculiarities: in the opening chapter, Morris finds the notion of brother-sister incest ``particularly graceful,'' and writes elsewhere that she once thought American Indians ``very tedious'' but now respects their culture. Agile essays celebrate styles of architecture, watching ships sail by her old Welsh house, friendship. Travel sketches of Australia, the Nile, Trieste, India, France, etc., make up a third of this miscellany. First serial to Mirabella, HG and Conde Nast Traveler; author tour. (Oct.)