An Open Door

£8.50 £10.00


The history of Wales as a destination and confection of English Romantic

writers is well-known, but this book reverses the process, turning a Welsh

gaze on the rest of the world.

This shift is timely: the severing of Britain from the European Union asks

questions of Wales about its relationship to its own past, to the British

state, to Europe and beyond, while the present political, public health

and environmental crises mean that travel writing can and should never

again be the comfortably escapist genre that it was. Our modern anxieties

over identity are registered here in writing that questions in a personal,

visceral way the meaning of belonging and homecoming, and reflects a

search for stability and solace as much as a desire for adventure. Here are

lyrical stories refracted through kaleidoscopes of family and world history,

alongside accounts of forced displacement and the tenacious love that

exists between people and places. Yet these pieces also show the enduring

value and joy of travel itself. As Eluned Gramich expresses it 'It's one of

the pleasures of travel to submit yourself to other people, let yourself be

guided and taught'.

Taken together, the stories of An Open Door extend Jan Morris' legacy into

a turbulent present and even more uncertain future. Whether seen from

Llyn or the Somali desert, we still take turns to look out at the same stars,

and it might be this recognition, above all, that encourages us to hold the

door open for as long as we can.