Wednesday, 2 December 2009

"A Yank Back To England" by Denis Lipman

Denis Lipman grew up in Dagenham and this is a sort of reverse travel book, telling the story of him introducing his American family to his English parents and relatives.

Lipman is a professional writer (plays and advertising) and it shows. The chapters read like short stories, each one detailing a different part of the country as he and his wife pass through, often with other family members in tow. Incidentally, the family theme is a fascinating sub-plot to the passing scenery, as various stresses and strains start to emerge.

Lipman is a also a fully paid-up member of the Mapp and Lucia appreciation network, which is how I came across him and this book in the first place. There is a particularly interesting passage on Rye as he, like so many before him, looks for the Benson window in the church and imagines his creations shopping and gossipping their way around the cobbled streets.

I would particularly recommend this book to an American audience, many of whom come to the Benson gathering in Rye every September. Many of the experiences described will be familiar, I am sure, not least the vagaries of English catering ...

"A Yank Back To England" is published by Gemma Media under ISBN 978-1-934848-24-1

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