Monday, August 18, 2008

Pg. 99: Sarah Lyall's "The Anglo Files"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Sarah Lyall's The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dispatches from the new Britain: a slyly funny and compulsively readable portrait of a nation finally refurbished for the twenty-first century.

Sarah Lyall, a reporter for the New York Times, moved to London in the mid-1990s and soon became known for her amusing and incisive dispatches on her adopted country. As she came to terms with its eccentric inhabitants (the English husband who never turned on the lights, the legislators who behaved like drunken frat boys, the hedgehog lovers, the people who extracted their own teeth), she found that she had a ringside seat at a singular transitional era in British life. The roller-coaster decade of Tony Blair’s New Labor government was an increasingly materialistic time when old-world symbols of aristocratic privilege and stiff-upper-lip sensibility collided with modern consumerism, overwrought emotion, and a new (but still unsuccessful) effort to make the trains run on time. Appearing a half-century after Nancy Mitford’s classic Noblesse Oblige, Lyall’s book is a brilliantly witty account of twenty-first-century Britain that will be recognized as a contemporary classic.
Among the early praise for The Anglo Files:
The Anglo Files should be handed out, as a public service, in the immigration line at Heathrow.”
--Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink

“Superb social and cultural anthropology by a reporter who has lived among her subjects without losing her sense of wonder for them. Imagine Margaret Mead channeling Jon Stewart and you have Sarah Lyall.”
--Eric Lax, author of Conversations with Woody Allen

“By turns wry, mordant, affectionate, bitter, and sweet. I never miss any of her dispatches, because, while they manage to remind me why I left, they also contrive to make me feel occasionally homesick.”
--Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great

“For years now, Sarah Lyall has been the writer observer of the English and their curious habits. Now she’s written a book that takes her game to an entirely new level. It’s funny, it’s delightful, and anyone with even a passing interest in these strange people should read it.”
--Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball

“Fresh, funny and occasionally wicked.”
Read an excerpt from The Anglo Files, and learn more about the book and author at Sarah Lyall's website.

Sarah Lyall is a London correspondent for the New York Times.

The Page 99 Test: The Anglo Files.

--Marshal Zeringue