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Helene Hanff

Books for ADULTS

Most people will have come to these pages on the strength of knowing about just one of Helene's books:


  • 84, Charing Cross Road - Helene's most famous book, chronicling her 20-year correspondence with the Marks and Co bookshop in London.

Helene also wrote 5 other books for an adult audience:

  • Underfoot in Showbusiness - her guide to getting nowhere in the theatre as a struggling playwright through the 1930s to 1960s. She starts by explaining that only 1 in 1,000 budding playwrights will be successful - and dedicates the book to the other 999, adding that she is one of them.

  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street - the diary of Helene's first visit to London in 1971, after the publication of "84" in England. This was originally issued as a book in its own right, but for at least the last thirty years it has often also been coupled with "84" in one volume.

  • Apple of My Eye - the diary of Helene's tour of New York with her friend Patsy, which was a result of her being invited to write the text for a sightseeing book of photographs of New York but realising that she had not visited many of the sights before.

  • Q's Legacy - detailing Helene's 'at home' college education via the lectures of Sir Arthur Quiller Couch, and her further trips to England.

These four books, together with "84" were re-issued in "The Helene Hanff Omnibus" in the early 1990s.

  • Letters From New York - a collation of some of the scripts from Helene's once a month broadcasts via BBC Radio's "Women's Hour" show between 1978 and 1984. This was Helene's final book, published in 1995.

These six books - and the omnibus edition - have been published in several issues by various publishing houses - the images shown are the front covers of my copies of the books, which I bought back in the 1980s and 1990s in the UK.

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