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About the Author

Sarah Lyall, a writer at large for the New York Times, lived in London until 2013, when she moved back home to New York. She's still adjusting.

Includes the name: Sarah Lyall

Image credit: Author Photograph by Lisa Wolfe

Obras de Sarah Lyall


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
c. 1963
Locais de residência
London, England, UK
New York, New York, USA
Phillips Exeter
Yale College
foreign correspondent
McCrum, Robert (husband)
The New York Times (London correspondent)
Kathy Robbins
Pequena biografia
Sarah Lyall grew up in New York City and is a London correspondent for the New York Times. She lives there with her husband, the writer Robert McCrum, and their two daughters.



I didn’t write anything down, nor do I have a copy of the text with me. I do know that it started with ample discussion on blurry lines among their alcoholism and their oh-so-noble politics and their oh-so-professional press (which, of course, means a little bit more now as I write this than it did when I read it). She describes the weirdly acceptable sexual relations of the Brit’s single-sex boarding schools for the last several decades and how it has come to shape their current leaders. She discusses their ridiculous House of Lords and the ambivalence with which the public reacts to their clocked-in drunken antics. (I think there’s something about the press in there, but that didn’t mean as much when I read this book in June as it does now.) There’s a bit about the innate humility and self-deprecation of the Queen’s people. I’m sure there was something in there about the royals and Princess Di. England’s love of hedgehogs, which I’d certainly never heard of before reading this book, makes an appearance before her long discussion of bad healthcare infrastructure in the realm of dentistry. She finishes with a chapter about the Brit’s tendencies for self-deprecation and excessive humility.

This is the third full-length, nonfiction book I’ve read recently written by journalists, and I’ve firmly established that this genre is not for me. I may be alone in this, but like Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein, it comes off as ten or twelve separate magazine articles united under one book heading. They’re wildly well-researched articles; she litters each chapter with numerous quotations from interviews and from newspapers domestic and international. Nevertheless, the chapters are strung together loosely, related only under the original proposal – what’s it like for an American to live long-term in London? One day I hope to be able to put my finger on it exactly; for now, I just know that I FEEL like other non-fiction books link their chapters, their sub-topics more cleanly, less choppily than these journalists’ books. She uses humor liberally and to good effect; she certainly made me laugh out loud more than once. Also, having lived with Brits for the five weeks leading up to reading this book, Lyall did describe a few situations that struck home for me, though the most memorable for me now is only the bit about how they hold their knives and their forks in the hands opposite of Americans. I’m very grateful I have met only one Brit who lived up to her descriptions of semi-alcoholism, and ultimately the situations she describes, including the Brits who take over pubs in Prague for stag nights and such, seem like the extreme end of things. But again, I’ve just lived with proud Brits whom I enjoyed very much. England’s love of hedgehogs, which I’d certainly never heard of before reading this book, makes an appearance before her long discussion of bad healthcare infrastructure in the realm of dentistry.

It’s a quick read, a fun read, but not set to win any major writing awards anytime soon, I imagine.
… (mais)
revatait | outras 28 resenhas | Feb 21, 2021 |
Hahhaha English people. hahahaha! Basically this book is going: "English people do this (insert cliche) American people do this (insert cliche)" but actually very funny and informative though I think I've forgotten everything I have been informed about. I think there may have been a chapter on teeth and how they are actually as bad as we think. But I'm from southern california so maybe our perfect teeth are uncanny and freaky. I'm going to give this to Camille; it sounds like the stuff she (understandly!) moans about England.… (mais)
Joanna.Oyzon | outras 28 resenhas | Apr 17, 2018 |
I was ready to like this book more than I did. Each chapter took a look at an oddity of British society from the point of view of a New York transplant writer. So far so good. I was interested in chapters that had more social commentary than personal anecdotes. Parliamentary behavior? Fascinating! Transit and shopping behavior changing for the nation as a whole? Also good. Personal accounts of dinners and stilted conversation with reticent colleagues? Eh.
I wanted more anthropology than solo bemusement. And I found her witticisms uneven. Laughed at some, felt like she was trying too hard to be Bill Bryson, mostly.… (mais)
ewillse | outras 28 resenhas | Jan 18, 2016 |
American married to a Brit. works as a journalist in London. funny interesting well told. I think I liked Watching the English better, but it has been awhile since I read this one.
njcur | outras 28 resenhas | Feb 13, 2014 |


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½ 3.4

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