By Malcolm Bradbury
After spending a 12 months educating in an American collage within the Nineteen Fifties, Malcolm Bradbury back to England basically to achieve that his local kingdom had turn into approximately as mystifying to him because the American Midwest. As Britain marched towards a brand new decade, a lot of the rustic used to be altering inexorably, its agrarian previous paved over through suburban builders, its quiet traditionalism changed by means of beehive hairdos and glossy, glass-walled place of work constructions. And so, to confront this curious second in British historical past, Bradbury grew to become to the sharpest device in his arsenal: humor. In All Dressed Up and Nowhere to move, he writes of a rustic balancing precariously at the boundary of 2 worlds, with the wry wit and keenly observant eye that experience made him one of many 20th century’s maximum satirists.
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Additional info for All Dressed Up And Nowhere to Go: How Malcolm Bradbury Learned to Adjust to England and Englishness All Over Again
Poor souls. Well, good luck with that. ” Word had apparently gone out that we were shopping for a church. ” Then he rolled over and went back to sleep. The Society of Friends, aka Quakers, met a good two-hour drive away, so we planned to attend once a month there and find a church home in Big Stone Gap the rest of the time. Off I set on this mission, wearing a skirt and a smile. Three churches sat just up the street from our store, and two more down. It’s a Southern small town. We have four hairdressers, three museums, two nail salons, and fifty-six churches within a two-mile radius.
In our shop. Filling our shelves. Life was good. Even better, people were talking about us. Friends told friends, and our phone began to ring. We weren’t open yet? When would we be? Did we have such and such books, or were we interested in having them brought in for swapping? Life was very good indeed. Ultimately, we approached the Grand Opening with more than three thousand volumes we hadn’t gone into debt for, and a lot of friends we wouldn’t have made without the early swaps. Even better, nobody but Jack and I knew how close we’d come to looking like idiots who’d decided on a whim to start a bookstore and made it up as they went along.
The Grand Opening had that surreal quality of a wedding when it’s yours. Is this really happening? Did we actually pull it off ? And is that kid sitting in the parked car out front using an e-reader? (We decided we didn’t believe in omens. ) The mayor read a proclamation welcoming us to town and establishing our business. Adriana Trigiani, hometown girl and author of the bestselling Big Stone Gap series of novels, cut the ribbon. A shop full of ceremony attendees clapped; sure, they’d come to see Adri, but still filled our store to standing room only.
All Dressed Up And Nowhere to Go: How Malcolm Bradbury Learned to Adjust to England and Englishness All Over Again by Malcolm Bradbury