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In Contact! Jan turns her brilliantly observant eye to the human contacts she made, across the globe and though the decades. As a series of vignettes, some only a few lines long, she records hundreds of brief glimpses and fleeting encounters, celebrating the people who helped spark her view of the world and mould her responses. A vast range of human experience is here: most are anonymous, everyday encounters – children playing, a homeless man in Manhattan, a lascivious taxi-driver – but she also remembers celebrated figures, from Yves San Laurent to King Hussein of Jordan, President Truman to Peter OToole.
Contact! is a must for any fans of Jan’s writing. Her great sense of amusement, shrewd eye for detail and huge enthusiasm for her contacts makes these episodes incredibly enjoyable – and often profound.
Prose that's rich, supple and full of precisely recalled details ... These are charming moments, somewhere between vignettes and epiphanies.
A book peppered with mild jolts, gentle quirks and agreeable cultural disjunctions.
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