Thursday, 9 April 2015

Letter from New York



No, I'm not writing from New York (wouldn't mind, though), I just finished reading this wonderful book, Letter from New York, by Helene Hanff, published in 1992. I already told you that I had ordered a used copy and mine turned out to be a first edition; an old library copy with a plastic cover that makes cracking sounds when one turns a page - love the feeling!

I recently blogged about Hanff's book 84 Charing Cross Road (see here) and told you that I had fallen for her witty style. She is just as witty in Letter from New York but that book contains stories she wrote for six years for the BBC Woman's Hour broadcast after her success with 84 Charing Cross Road. These stories are about her life in New York, about her neighbours (people and dogs - she lived at 305 East 72nd Street), friends, walks in Central Park, etc.



Hanff isn't a glamorous person but writes with passion about daily life in her community and on the streets of the city. She's a keen observer and easily cracks me up. If you haven't already travelled to New York I think you will be eager to visit after the reading, even though she is describing New York in the late 70s and early 80s. What I especially love about her is how comfortable she is with making fun of herself. I wish she were still among us because we need people like Hanff in this world.

I probably don't have to tell you that I have already ordered my third book by her and I'm expecting a used copy of Q's Legacy to arrive in the mail soon.



6 comments:

  1. Hi Lisa! Have you ever visited New York? Also, what is your favorite genre to read?

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    1. Hi AJ Halling and thanks for stopping by on the blog. Yes, I have been to NYC. Genres, you ask. I think any kind of life writing is my favourite, including letters, travel writing, and historical fiction. I tend to go through periods of Scandinavian crime novels and I'm currently reading John le Carré's spy novels in chronologial order. I think that pretty much sums it up.

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  2. Coffee, books and flowers, that's you all right! I think I would enjoy this book. The 70s and 80s were such an interesting time to be living in NYC.

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    1. Maybe I should have said in my post that it was also New York without the gangsters ;-)

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  3. Oh Lisa I enjoy your book reviews so much! I even bought one of the last books you recommended (84 Charing Cross Road), just had no time yet to start it as I am still finishing a French book I am reading (L'Égyptienne by Gilbert Sinoué). Have a very happy weekend my friend!

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    1. I love it that you bought 84 Charing Cross Road and now I can only hope that you will enjoy it. It's Hanff's tone of voice that I find so wonderful and positive. I have to see if they have anything by Sinoué at the library ;-)

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