“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Literary awakening

I literally threw the book in the corner of the room. Frustrated, angry, and very annoyed. After a few moments, when my seethe had come off the boil, I realized something. The book I was reading was a good one. And something else. I was not annoyed at the book but at the main character’s flaw: his spinelessness. In his quiet, beguiling way, Somerset Maugham had hooked me, lured me into his world. The book was Of Human Bondage, and I carried on reading it, only to admire, in time, the character’s dogged determination. Talk about beguiling.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Old Viking Bay

I love this old photo we found of Viking Bay in Broadstairs, my favorite English coastal town. Straight ahead is the Albion Hotel, where Dickens once wrote—and where Jesse and Lew imbibed while we ambled up to Bleak House, which we assume is the narrow building all the way to the right on the cliffside. It was obviously expanded later as it is much grander now.