Synopses & Reviews
After years of working behind a desk, Holly Morris had finally had enough. So she quit her job and set out to prove that adventure is not just a vacation style but a philosophy of living and to find like-minded, risk-taking women around the globe. With modest backing, a small television crew, her spirited producer-mother, Jeannie, and a whole lot of chutzpah, Morris tracked down artists, activists, and politicos women of action who are changing the rules and sometimes the world around them.
In these pages, Morris brings to life the remarkable people and places she's encountered on the road while filming her PBS series Adventure Divas and other programs. We meet Assata Shakur, a former Black Panther and social activist and now a fugitive living in exile in Cuba; Kiran Bedi, New Delhi's chief of police, who revolutionized India's infamously brutal Tijar Jail with her humanitarian ethic; New Zealand pop star Hinewehi Mohi, a Maori who reinvigorates her native culture for a new generation; and Mokarrameh Ghanbari, a septuagenarian painter and rice farmer who lives in the tiny village of Darikandeh on the Caspian plains of Iran, where her creative talents run counter to the government's strict stance on art.
Along the way, Morris herself becomes a certified Adventure Diva, as she hunts for wild boar with Penan tribesmen in the jungles of Borneo, climbs the Matterhorn short-roped to a salty fourth-generation Swiss guide, and memorably becomes the first woman ever to enter the traditional camel race of the Saharan oasis town of Timia.
Intelligent, phenomenally funny, and chock-full of rich and telling details of place, Adventure Divas is a pro-woman chronicle for the twenty-first century. In a pilgrimage fueled by curiosity, ideology, and full-on estrogen power, Holly Morris has paved the way for all of us to discover our own diva within and set out on our own adventures.
"Morris, in partnership with her mother, produced a PBS documentary series meant to empower women by traveling to exotic locales and seeking out 'divas': women creating positive change in their societies through passionate and often convention-defying actions. Among her subjects: the first female beat cop in India, who later reformed the prison system; an Iranian publisher of a feminist magazine fighting strict censorship laws; and a pop star who rocked New Zealand's cultural divides. With these women as the focus, Morris and her crew provide novel and extensive explorations of different cultures. Despite the author's objective to avoid reinforcing stereotypes, she does occasionally stumble on her own biases. For instance, her aversion to organized religion clearly colors her translation of cultures heavy with holy history. Morris's writing is clean, rhythmic and full of both storytelling flair and journalistic pragmatism. The story of the spunky project itself, from the obstacles overcome while producing an independent documentary series to Morris's adventures along the way (she takes on a side job hosting another travel show, eats with Malaysian headhunters, climbs Switzerland's Matterhorn and rides through the Sahara Desert on camelback), is as inspiring as the divas themselves. B&w photos, illus. Agent, Leigh Feldman. (On sale Oct. 4)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Smart, sexy, inspiring! Holly Morris is the ultimate adventure diva. Whether she's deconstructing Cuban politics, finding meaning in a Brazilian bikini wax, or succumbing to the pleasures of a Tehran security pat-down, Holly lives and writes like a brainy bad girl." Cameron Tuttle, author of The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road
"Let us celebrate Holly Morris and all of the other amazing, hilarious, tough, and tender adventure divas in this book. There is no substitute for the old-fashioned adventurer with frequent flier miles, dirt on her boots, and new ideas." Sherman Alexie, author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
"The adventure divas really do go where angels fear to tread. Holly Morris has written a lively and fascinating old-girls'-guide paean to never holding back on life. Move over, Mr. Hemingway." Jacki Lyden, host and correspondent for NPR's "All Things Considered"
"[Holly Morris is] a winning companion, a keen cultural observer, a free but not falsely upbeat spirit." Chicago Tribune
"The Adventure Divas have some advice for firing up your soul!" USA Today
"Travel temptress Holly Morris" (The Orange County Register) travels to the corners of the earth to document the stories of extraordinary women politicos, artists, activists whose lives have transformed the world around them.
About the Author
Holly Morris is the founder of Adventure Divas, Inc., a multimedia production company, and is executive producer and writer/director of the award-winning prime-time PBS documentary series Adventure Divas. She is the former editorial director of Seal Press and the editor of two fishing anthologies, A Different Angle and Uncommon Waters. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Ms., Outside, and numerous anthologies and on abcnews.com. When she's not writing or producing television documentaries, Morris is a correspondent for television series such as Lonely Planet Treks in America, Treks in a Wild World, Globe Trekkers, and Outdoor Investigations.