All the Way to the Tigers: A Memoir (Paperback)
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One of NPR's Best Books of the Year
From the author of Nothing to Declare, a moving travel narrative examining healing, redemption, and what it means to be a solo woman on the road.
In February 2008, a casual afternoon of ice skating derailed the trip of a lifetime. Mary Morris was on the verge of a well-earned sabbatical, but instead she endured three months in a wheelchair, two surgeries, and extensive rehabilitation. One morning, when she was supposed to be in Morocco, Morris was lying on the sofa reading Death in Venice, casting her eyes over these words again and again: “He would go on a journey. Not far. Not all the way to the tigers.” Disaster shifted to possibility and Morris made a decision. When she was well enough to walk again, she would go “all the way to the tigers.”
So begins a three-year odyssey that takes Morris to India on a tiger safari in search of the world’s most elusive apex predator. Written in over a hundred short chapters accompanied by the author’s photographs, this travel memoir offers an elegiac, wry, and wise look at a woman on the road and the glorious, elusive creature she seeks.
About the Author
Mary Morris is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the novels Gateway to the Moon, The Jazz Palace, A Mother's Love, and House Arrest, and of nonfiction, including the travel classic Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone. Morris is a recipient of the Rome Prize in literature and the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“Mary Morris’s All the Way to the Tigers is a travel memoir and quest. Alluringly written in short, meditative chapters, it whizzes back and forth between America and India. . . . Fascinating.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“The best travel memoirs offer readers three pleasures woven together: accounts of ‘what I saw,’ ‘how I came to understand myself better’ and ‘what I learned about the world’—and Morris’ memoir doesn’t skimp on any of them.”
—Nancy Pearl, NPR
“The author of the classic travelogue Nothing to Declare this time ventures to Pench, India, in part to glimpse the apex predator she’s long dreamed of, in part to prove that a recent injury won’t end the habit of far-flung travel that has nourished her for six decades. The resulting memoir—wry and wistful—reveals a woman finally comfortable with her own imperfections and, when she gets the chance, unafraid to look a tiger in the eye.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“The compelling why and how of jumpstarting her epic adventure launches a multilayered story unfurled in 100 brief chapters—like little pearls expertly strung on an intricate necklace . . . Morris delivers with grace and grit.”
“Fact: Mary Morris is the best travel writer alive. I am humbled by her skill at using the bones of a journey to get to the heart of herself. She's a master of the craft.”
—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things
“A travel narrative in the tradition of Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert.”
—Read It Forward
“Morris is frank, funny, and incisive as she revisits her 'free ranging' Chicago childhood, single motherhood, and her start as writer, and expounds on tigers in the world and in the imagination . . . Morris’ epigrammatic memoir is a finely wrought mosaic of unexpected and provocative pieces cunningly fit together.’
“Engrossing . . . Morris’s descriptions of remote beauty, grinding urban poverty, and exotic adventures will captivate armchair tourists and travel memoir fans.”
“Honest, observant, and striking.”