Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

As a fan of the epistolary and as a book lover, I adore 84 Charing Cross Road the book of letters written between Helene Hanff, a New Yorker, and the British bookshop from which she ordered English classics throughout the 50s. Her voice-in-letters is funny and self-deprecating and makes you think she would be a great deal of fun to hang out with. And here, lo and behold, is a sequel that I never knew existed--a diary of her trip to London, her first, made to promote the British edition. Aside from the pleasure of being reuinted with Hanff, it's interesting to see how many complete strangers adored her and called her up and took her out to eat just because they'd read her book. Are there any authors you would invite to dinner if they came to town?

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