Jan Morris

Introduced by CN Lester

Conundrum is Jan Morris's classic memoir of her transition from man to woman. Marking the 50th anniversary since publication, this edition includes archive photographs and a new introduction by CN Lester.

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‘What was important was the liberty of all us as we wished to live, to love however we wanted to love.’
  1. Jan Morris

Conundrum is Jan Morris’s intimate and beautifully written account of her extraordinary life: a reflection on childhood, youth and marriage, adventure and the spirit of travel, her love affair with Venice and her beloved Wales. However, at its heart, lies the profoundly illuminating story of her transition from man to woman – which culminated in gender reassignment surgery – its pains and joys, frustrations and discoveries. Marking 50 years since first publication, this unique anniversary edition is threaded with photographs that offer snapshots of Morris’s life and includes binding lettering that reflects the traditional carving of her native Wales. Writer and activist CN Lester both critiques and praises the text in an incisive new introduction bringing this wondrous piece of writing firmly up to date.

Bound in blocked cloth

Set in Bembo Book with Kyiv Type Titling as display

240 pages

Frontispiece and 8 pages of colour and black & white photographs

Printed slipcase

Printed in Germany

8˝ x 5¼˝

‘A very good writer telling a profoundly poetic story ’
  1. New York Times

A classic account of a transgender experience, Conundrum is also the memoir of an extraordinarily adventurous life, well lived. Identity, belonging and tolerance are woven into a narrative that will be beyond most peoples’ personal experience and yet is fundamentally linked in so many ways. Morris is incredibly open and honest; sharing the pain, joy, frustration and discovery that her journey from man to woman entailed. This edition celebrates Conundrum’s contribution to the trans writing landscape, with the addition of photographs from throughout Morris’s life. CN Lester – author of Trans Like Me – aligns the work against the era, adding a fresh voice to a seminal text that should rightly be celebrated for its honesty and fearlessness; one that ultimately addresses the most of illusive of questions: who am I?

About Jan Morris

Jan Morris (1926–2020) was a historian and travel writer who made her name as a journalist, famously as The Times correspondent accompanying the British Mount Everest expedition in 1953. She published some forty books, including Coronation Everest (1958), Venice (1960; Folio Society edition 2008), the Pax Britannica Trilogy (1968/1973/1978; Folio Society edition 1992), Conundrum (1974), The Venetian Empire: A Sea Voyage (1980; Folio Society edition 2014), Manhattan ’45 (1986; Folio Society edition 2016), Spain (1988), Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (2001), and a novel, Last Letters from Hav (1985), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In 2018 she won the Edward Stanford Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing Award, and her last published book was Thinking Again (2020), a volume of diaries.

About CN Lester

CN Lester is a classical and alternative singer-songwriter, trained in music at the University of London and Huddersfield, where they graduated with a PhD. As a singer Lester specialises in travesti opera and early classical music; as a songwriter their most recent album is Aether. Lester’s first book, Trans Like Me, was published in 2017 and they have also written for the New Statesman and other publications, as well as founding the arts event Transpose for the Barbican in London.


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