Jan Morris is a renowned female writer who led a very interesting life. In the 1970s, she went to Morocco, where she had surgery to change her gender. After that, she lived the rest of her life as a woman.
Jan Morris was born on October 2, 1926. When she wrote about the first climbers to reach the top of Everest, she reached the peak of her career as a journalist.
In 1926, she became an intelligence officer and launched her professional career. During the Second World War, she was a member of the armed forces and served in both Italy and Palestine.
After that, she embarked on a career in journalism. She was able to become friends with Che Guevara, who traveled to Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped.
In the 1950s, she began contributing articles to the daily Times. The news that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit of Everest was brought to her attention while she was there.
While he was following the mountain climbers at an elevation of thousands of feet above sea level, she had overheard the news and passed it on to him. As soon as she heard the news, she dashed off the mountain and hurriedly took a seat at the beginning of her article in order to secure the position of being the first person to do so.
In 1949, she tied the knot with Elizabeth Tukniss. The couple were blessed with five offspring. They had to say goodbye to one of their children when they were still little.
Transition from male to female
In 1964, James made the decision to transition from male to female and began using the name Jan Morris. She was forced to divorce Elizabeth and undergo surgery because it was against the law in England at the time for people of the same sexual orientation to get married. On the other hand, James did not desire that.
He went to Georges Burou, the most skilled physician available at the time, who also operated a clinic in Morocco. Once known as James, the person now identified as Jan.
Jan Morris Career as a writer
Throughout the Jan Morris’s life, Jan has done a significant amount of traveling. Individuals who had never traveled outside of their home country found that the articles, books, biographies, and city portraits she wrote after returning from her travels were able to successfully convey what it was like to walk down streets they had never seen before.
Additionally, Jan has authored travel books centered on the cities of Oxford, Venice, and Hong Kong. But probably one of her most essential works is her autobiography, which was released in 1974 under the title “Conundrum.” In this book, she describes her fascinating life in great detail.
In her trilogy, Heaven’s Command (1973), Pax Britannica (1968), and Farewell The Trumpets (1978), she tells the story of the rise and fall of the British Empire.
She has written literary portraits of many cities, including Oxford (1965), Venice (1955), Trieste (2002), Hong Kong (1988), and Sydney (1965).
In 2003, she had a collection of her travel writing and reportage spanning more than half a century published under the title A Writer’s World: Travels 1950–2000.
Conundrum (1974), her autobiographical novel, is an engrossing story of the ten years it took her to transition from being a guy to a woman. It was selected by The Times as one of the “100 significant works of our time.” She has also written a play.
In her biography, “Fisher’s Face,” which came out in 1995, she tells the story of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Jacky Fisher, a naval reformer.
Jan Morris also the author of the novel “Last Letters from Hav,” which was a finalist for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1985.
Jan Morris is a member of the Royal Society of Literature, in addition to being a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan and having served as an Honorary Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1999, she received the honor of a CBE.
On November 20th, 2020, Jan Morris passed away.
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