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Black Tea

Shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Christopher Bland Prize 2020

A triumph of art as well as of observation.

Paul Binding, cultural critic and author 

This fascinating autobiographical travelogue is an unblinking self-analysis.

Zinovy Zinik, celebrated Russian author and BBC critic 

Elegiac, evocative and disarmingly candid, Black Tea rattles along like a Russian train. It can be soothingly poetic and then bring you to a standstill with its sharp, searing honesty.

Lucy Ash, BBC Russia Correspondent

I picked up this book because it got short-listed for the Royal Society Literature award. I'm kind of surprised it didn't win. It's a travelogue around Russia, specifically the Caucasus, as well as a love story to his wife, who was the stand-in for Russia. But his commitment to, and love affair with, Russia unfolds slowly and we are still learning about the depths of it up to the last pages of the book. What a wonderful travelogue. What a glorious love story.

Amazon Review

Black Tea


Print ISBN:

Ebook ISBN:  



Print Length:

222 Pages





Available in paperback and ebook

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Highly informed with a unique perspective, Stephen Morris' Black Tea chronicles the changing face of Russia over thirty years. Both memoir and travelogue, Stephen hauntingly explores love and identity, commitment and family.

Stephen Morris was always fascinated by Russia. As a child caught between his evangelical grandmother’s warnings on the evils of socialism and his father’s activism for nuclear disarmament, his ambiguous position was exemplified by a huge military map of the Soviet Union tacked to his bedroom wall.

In the dying days of the Soviet, he travels to Moscow and meets and marries a beautiful Russian. Although in London for a time, his wife and children return to live in rural Russia. Stephen does not go with them.

He later returns to take them on a trip through Russia, with the hope of reconnecting with his family and the country. Yet the country has changed, and so has his family. Adrift, he embarks on a lyrical journey that will him from the White Sea to the Black Sea.

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