Late in her life, Martha Gellhorn (1908– 1998) produced a masterpiece of travel writing. Travels with Myself and Another (1978) belongs in company with the classics of the genre: Peter Fleming’s Brazilian Adventure, Robert Byron’s Road to Oxiana, Eric Newby’s Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, and Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia—as a rule, the work of self-deprecating young Englishmen. Gellhorn’s recountings of horror journeys in China, the Caribbean, Russia, and Africa are full of caustic humor, and the author comes through as a strong-willed, difficult, and thoroughly irresistable woman.

Travels was a departure as Gellhorn’s reputation was from earnest journalism. It’s ironic tone, though, had always been the dominant note of her private correspondence. She was also one of the last truly prolific letter writers, at every turn of her life finding...

 
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