Mon, 5 September 2011
Imagine you're a poor and struggling scriptwriter working in an unheated New York brownstone in the 1940s. You long for the English books you can't get in the New York bookstores, and you start to write to a London antiquarian bookshop. A correspondence develops that shapes your understanding of what it's like to live in England after the war. Years later, you put these letters into a book, it becomes a best-seller, and suddenly everyone wants to know about your life, the life you thought was going to be in the theatre, but which ends up being perfect for a modern novel of letters: Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road. For listeners who are always the last to leave a bookshop when it's closing.