A New York Review Books Original In 1985, the travel writer Jan Morris visited the storied city- state of Hav on assignment for New Gotham Magazine, writing a series of articles that were later published as Last Letters from Hav. She was there during the remarkable period that became known as the Intervention. In 2006 Morris returned to Hav to witness the changes that had occurred in the city, now a pariah nation ruled by radical nationalists who rewrote its rich history to reflect their own blinkered vision of the past. The story of Hav is the story of the modern world, but Hav is like no place on earth. In fact, it is wholly the product of Jan Morris's prodigious imagination, built on the knowledge gained from her years of reporting from the great cities of Europe. As Jan Morris takes us along the streets of Hav, we hear its centuries-old morning trumpet call and the songs of its muezzin, we see the texture of the goods on offer at its markets, smell the odor of coffee and smoke drifting from its caf s. But Morris tells not only of Hav's glorious past and quaint 20th-century iteration, in the chapters written in the 21st century, she brings the story up to date.
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August 30, 2011
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