This memoir tells the remarkable story of how Helene Hanff came to write 84, Charing Cross Road, and how its success changed her. Hanff recalls her serendipitous discovery of a volume of lectures by a Cambridge don, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. She devoured Q’s book, and, wanting to read all the books he recommended, began to order them from a small store in London at 84, Charing Cross Road.
Thus began a correspondence that became an enormously popular book, play, television production, and movie, and that finally led to the trip to England — and a visit to Q’s study — that she recounts in this exuberant memoir. Hanff pays her debt to her mentor and shares her joyous adventures with her many fans.
“Reading Helene Hanff’s book is like making a new friend — a charming, wise, and funny one.” — Betty Rollin
“A potpourri . . . easy and assured . . . A delightful companion for the odd hour.” — San FranciscoChronicle
“Hanff’s charm is such that when she exults . . . we exult right along with her.” — Kirkus Reviews
Helene Hanff (1915–1997) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the 1940s and ’50s she wrote plays and television scripts in New York City, but found little success until her best-known book, 84, Charing Cross Road, was published in 1970. The book was… More about Helene Hanff