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Letter from New York: BBC Woman's Hour Broadcasts

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  270 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews

For six years, Helene Hanff held captive audiences all over the world with her monthly broadcasts on the BBC's 'Woman's Hour.' In five-minute vignettes, she managed to convey the essential New York City: life in a high rise apartment building ('the last small town in America'); annals of Chester-the-Sheepdog, Duke, the German shepherd, and their friends; the tree-lighting,

Hardcover, 160 pages
Published July 1st 1992 by Aurum Press Ltd
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Madison H.
Nov 04, 2014 Madison H. rated it really liked it
I think this is my favorite Helene Hanff book. I'm not quite sure why. It has something to do with the lovely, vivid descriptions of New York and the hilarious shenanigans that go on in Helene's apartment building. I loved reading about all the different people and the dogs :)

I loved how Helene described all the different parts of New York. It gives great insight for those who only know New York from the TV and books. I could almost hear the hustle and bustle of the streets, I got that feeling
After I treated myself to 84, Charing Cross Road, it was only a matter of time before I reread Helene Hanff’s Letter from New York. This was the book in which I first encountered Miss Hanff—I don’t remember whether I bought it myself or was given it by someone, but I know I read it the year I moved to New York City, and it profoundly influenced my first experiences there. Helene Hanff taught me how to see the quirky and charming characteristics of a neighborhood; she enticed me out of my midtown ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Aug 03, 2014 Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bios, travelogue
Getting ready for my NY trip and I just HAD to re-read the greatest book on NY that I know!

I find it odd that someone used the picture from my blog as the picture of this book... not that I mind what with my devotion to Hanff!
Sep 04, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it
After the success of 84, Charing Cross Road, the BBC asked Helene Hanff to write segments about her life in New York for BBC’s British audience. This book collects many of the transcripts from those segments. They are delightful, charming, and warm. It made me really see New York. It had more of the delightful, light tone of 84, Charing Cross Road. I would have loved to listen to them on the radio. A couple of them, particularly the ones about her relationshing with a neighbor’s dog, brought me ...more
Sep 17, 2016 Tina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
I have a fascination with Helene Hanff. I am not sure why, perhaps its because she wrote books that gave us only partial glimpses of her life? which sounded so interesting. Her love of books, New York and martinis.

Other than 84 Charring Cross Road, this is my favorite book written by Hanff. Letter from New York is full of cute anecdotes (which don't normally like, but loved in this book).

Hanff gives us yet more glimpses into her life, but this time, it is completely directed at an audience - an
Feb 10, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
Such a lovely little book about life in NYC. She was such a fascinating woman. I didn't love this as much as 84 Charing Cross road, but it was a lovely postcard of what life was like throughout the year.
Dec 28, 2015 Meagan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, essays
Helene Hanff is the author of one of my all-time favorite comfort reads, 84, Charing Cross Road. If you haven't read it, do so immediately. It's dripping in atmosphere and charm, and populated with people you'll never forget. And it only takes an hour to read! It's the perfect book for a bad mood.

Letter from New York is slightly different. Where 84, Charing Cross Road is filled with the actual correspondence between Helene Hanff and the staff of a London book shop, Letter from New York is filled
Jennie Pollock
Feb 28, 2015 Jennie Pollock rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I had no idea this book existed, despite being a huge fan of '84 Charing Cross Road' and 'The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street'. My best friend stumbled across it online and bought it, devoured it, scribbling notes in the margins as she went, and gave it to me. We love it - Helene Hanff on fine form, chatting away, sharing her love of New York, stories of her friends human and canine, and self-deprecating anecdotes of her haphazard stumble through life.

It makes you long for summer in New York, or C
May 16, 2007 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories about an everyday life in New York. This book makes you want to go to New York immediately!
Judy Ball
Apr 16, 2014 Judy Ball rated it it was amazing
I first "found" Helene Hanff in a bookstore in London. That introduction was 84, Charing Cross Road, which I read during a holiday in London. I was so enchanted that I spent hours tracking down and visiting many of the places referenced in the book. I adored her writing and longed for more. Then, nearly a decade later, I stumbled upon a used copy of Letter from New York. What a treat! Her stories and storytelling are timeless, at times hilarious, other times sad, always authentic. Reading Ms. Ha ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Krista rated it it was amazing
I love all Helene Hanff books. I only wish this had been longer!
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Jan 21, 2010 Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios, library
For six years Helene Hanff appeared on the BBC Woman's Hour in England. Once a month she recorded a five minute piece on her life in New York for the radio show for a country in her thrall ever since 84, Charing Cross Road. Written in a very conversational style to emulate the stories she'd tell her friends, the spot, which was to last six months, lasted far longer. This delightful collection compiles all extant copies she had and presents them in one wonderful book. Helene Hanff and I are polar ...more
This is a collection of short essays in letter form about life in New York City Helene Hanff of 84 Charing Cross Road fame wrote for a BBC radio program from the late 70s into the early 80s. Usually I really hate "I LIVE IN NEW YORK! NEW YORK AS IN NEW YORK CITY!" memoirs for various reasons too convoluted to get into in a quick goodreads review, but Helene Hanff totally elevates this autobiographical subgenre with her charm & wit. She writes about her friends, their dogs, street festivals, ...more
Sep 15, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
This is a short but charming book based on a series of monthly five-minute broadcasts that Hanff did for the BBC's Woman's Hour program in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Letter from New York is an ode to the city at a time when it was quickly developing a nasty reputation for crime and apathy. But Hanff's New York is a town where your fellow apartment dwellers let you fill up half of their fridges with pies and casseroles the day before Thanksgiving because you ran out of room in yours. It's a ...more
Apr 07, 2016 Elsa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love Helene Hanff. I wish, I wish, I wish she had been sought after by publishers as she should have been when alive. It kills me that she probably had more books in her that were never written! I have read everything by her I can get my hands on and loved all of it.
Engl. title: Letter from New York
This is a collection of short scripts Helene Hanff wrote between 1978 and 1984 as a monthly contribution to BBC's "Woman's Hour". She describes "her New York" - her neighborhood and surroundings. I wish I could have listened to these on BBC. The reader gets a lively picture of Ms. Hanff's friends, her neighbors, and acquaintances. I recommend this wonderful and humorous book to anyone who enjoyed her first '84, Charing Cross Road' and to those who love New York C
Mar 03, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A genuine, quirky insight into New York by the people/persons who actually live there. Easy to read, entertaining and I could not put it down. Helen Hannff is a down to earth New Yorker and her style reflects that. Loved it.
Eleanor Schmidt
Feb 22, 2016 Eleanor Schmidt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another little jewel from the author of 84, charing Cross Road. This time her subject is New York and she brings the city to life with her usual enthusiasam
May 29, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it
Lots of good stuff about community and about dogs. Okay, I liked the dog stories the best. The Night of the White Poodle! Bentley!! ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Monette rated it it was amazing
I really should have given five stars to all her books, but this one is my favorite! It's a wonderful reminder of why I love New York and miss it so much. I wish I had been Helene's neighbor and friend.
Sep 20, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ny-city
Well-written, and delightful. With her point of view moving from NY city to England and back, it's engrossing. Enjoyed it every bit as much as I did 84 Charing Cross Rd.
Jan Duthie
Jul 25, 2015 Jan Duthie rated it it was amazing
An excellent book full of acute observation and humour.
Nicole Marble
Apr 04, 2014 Nicole Marble rated it it was amazing
worth the listen
Oct 06, 2011 Rita rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel-book
I did like this book of hers [didn't like Apple]. It's very very very light reading, but actually does give one quite a good impression of what it's like to live in Manhattan. You get snippets about people of all social classes, and quite a lot about Central Park activities.

Probably I would like the Charing Cross Road one.
Diana Athill had a nice comment about the astounding and unexpected success of this book [which she and Andre Deutsch published]

Aug 21, 2016 Margie rated it it was amazing
This was a re-read for me as it was always recalled as a wholly pleasurable journey. Though it starts off a bit dry, Helene Hanff finds her voice in these BBC Women's Hour broadcasts, and her life in NYC comes alive with personal anecdotes about place and friendship. But don't start here; begin with 84, Charing Cross Road. Of Hanff's books that followed 84, this is, in my opinion, its most worthy successor.
Dec 23, 2012 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
p 107
I keep feeling there’s a connection somewhere—between a New York dog homesick for a liquor store and an apple tree, flourishing on a narrow strip of cement, sixteen stories above the ground—but I can’t find it. Maybe it’s that both dogs and trees adapt to New York’s life-style. And maybe it’s just that things happen in this town that wouldn’t dream of happening anywhere else.
Mar 14, 2011 Ratesjul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, 2013
I really like Hanff's writing, and her way with words. They are somehow, at the same time, witty and insightful and down to earth and yet somehow almost timeless. They bring you into a world that you wish you could inhabit, and give you snapshots of people who you wish you could get to know, in some small way. I'd not read this before, but I'm sure I'll read it again at some point.
Oct 11, 2010 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Helene Hanff. Her writing is so charming and this book just brings to life the every day in NYC. Even if this was the late 70s - early 80s, I imagine things are pretty much the same now. This book is filled with transcripts of her radio show on BBC radio - 5 minute segments about life in NYC. Happy, charming, nostalgic read.
Jan 25, 2015 Aneesa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Who knew neighbors in New York could be so nice? This book is filled with gems about how to host dinner parties in a one-room apartment in winter, why the St. Patrick's Day and all the other parades do and always will go up Fifth Avenue, and what's so great about "the leaves." But there is entirely too much discussion of city dogs.
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Helene Hanff (April 15, 1916–April 9, 1997) was an American writer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she is best known as the author of the book 84 Charing Cross Road, which became the basis for a play, teleplay, and film of the same name.

Her career, which saw her move from writing unproduced plays to helping create some of the earliest television dramas to becoming a kind of professional New Y
More about Helene Hanff...

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