Friday, November 20, 2015

Helene Hanff

Helene Hanff with Anne Bancroft

In college, I adored Helene Hanff’s work, particularly Underfoot in Show Business, her personal history of trying to succeed as a playwright. 84 Charing Cross Road became a sentimental favorite. Who can resist a relationship between a reader and bookseller who communicate by correspondence and never meet? Recently, I saw the movie featuring Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, and Judy Dench. I was so delighted that it incorporated facts I learned in the sequel The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. In 1997, Hanff died of diabetes in New York City. The apartment building where she lived has been named “Charing Cross House.”

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