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Letter from New York: BBC Woman's Hour Broadcasts

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  61 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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4.20  · 
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 ·  367 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Once a month, for five years, beginning in 1978 Helene Hanff read to a BBC audience stories of her life as a citizen of New York City. Letter from New York is a collection of the scripts from this series. Ms Hanff is a more modest and less introverted version of Carrie Bradshaw. Her letters reflect a world almost oblivious to the conspicuous consumption and totally absent the dating, mating and man vs woman battle of the sexes that are center of the Carrie Bradshaw stories of New Your life.

The N
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading “Letters from New York” is like listening to your favorite relative or friend who you see only once a year telling you amazing stories of her adopted city over a bottle of Pinot Noir during that magical week between Christmas and New Year’s.

Author Helene Hanff turns the quotidian into marvelous, relatable tales even if you have never lived in New York City. My cousin lived and worked in Manhattan in the 70s and 80s - the time covered in Hanff’s memoir- and I remember he always said that
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
Madison H.
Oct 19, 2014 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
Aug 07, 2009 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
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Aug 02, 2014 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!
Feb 08, 2010 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.
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love all Helene Hanff books. I only wish this had been longer!
May 16, 2007 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!
Sabrina Chapadjiev
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The second of Hanff's books I encountered, I did want to give this three stars instead of two. I've read three now, and Charing Cross Road is easily number 1, with 'Underfoot in Showbusiness' coming in at 2, and this firmly in third place. However, part of the reason I was not completely in love with this book has to do with it's subject - New York. I live here, and know it well, and although the times have changed, many of the book's stories are still true, in varying forms today. However, if y ...more
Maria Antonia
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was brought to my attention in a comment on my blog post about how much I loved Helene Hanff's book: 84, Charing Cross Road.

This is Hanff's "love letter" to New York City. I used to live in New York in the early 2000s, and I've discovered that there's something very real about that slogan: I Heart NY. It is so true that this city has the ability to worm its way into your heart! The book is set in the late 1970s and early 80s, but even so, I easily recognized New York City. It didn't ch
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For fans of Helene Hanff, this book is like getting to visit with Helene again, to see New York through her eyes. I especially enjoyed it because I moved to the City in the years she's describing, although a little sad because so much has changed since then.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Witty transcripts of the 5 minute monthly broadcasts Helene recorded for BBC’s Woman’s Hour in the late 70s early 80s. Dealing mostly with everyday life in New York, she talks about her apartment block community, the local dogs, and things that are happening around her.
Selah Pike
Helene Hanff is now firmly established as one of my all-time favorite writers!
Rosie Hill
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I find Hanff to be rather a delightful author. What a fun way she has of describing city life! It *almost* makes me want to abandon the country but... Not quite!
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a good read.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are few books I don't finish, but this was one of them. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. Maybe there is beauty in this, but it was not the book for me.
Dianne Oliver
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So charming.
Christina Mitchell
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a love letter from New York.
Ronda Kisner
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sigh ~ I love this so much!
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a Helene Hanff fan, I really enjoyed her stories in this book. Looking forward to reading another one of her books soon.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was a good read!
Sarah83 L
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Auch der dritte Teil der Serie ist gut zu lesen. Nach wie vor gefällt mir der erste Teil immer noch am besten. Allerdings lernt man hier New York von innen kennen, was definitiv seinen Reiz hat.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I could have easily read this book in one sitting, but I went slow, because I didn't want it to end. I could have read about Helene Hanff's life, her neighbors, her friends, and the dogs of New York forever. I've been in love with New York City since I was a young kid, and this book reads like a love letter to the city from a city girl. The in depth description of Central Park was probably my favorite passage, but this entire book just made me smile from cover to cover.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of radio broadcasts that Helene Hanff wrote about life in New York City that were broadcast on BBC radio. I really enjoyed how she describes her friends and her experiences.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Dec 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, bios
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
Nov 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, nonfiction
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
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 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 15, 2013 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
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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