Suzy Hansen - Notes on a Foreign Country - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback
    More information
    • ISBN:9781472153890
    • Publication date:04 Jan 2018
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781472153876
    • Publication date:04 Jan 2018

Notes on a Foreign Country

An American Abroad in a Post-American World

By Suzy Hansen

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

Notes on a Foreign Country is a moving reflection on America's place in the world. It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation?a profound reckoning with what it means to be American in a moment of grave national and global turmoil.

'Deeply honest and brave . . . A sincere and intelligent act of self-questioning . . . Hansen is doing something both rare and necessary' - Hisham Matar, New York Times

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen was enjoying success as a journalist for a New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul.

Hansen arrived in Istanbul with romantic ideas about a city perched between East and West, and a naïve sense of the Islamic world beyond. Over the course of years of living in Turkey and traveling in Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries and their cultures. But the most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country - and herself, an American abroad in the era of American decline.

Blending memoir, journalism, and history, Notes on a Foreign Country is a moving reflection on America's place in the world. It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation - a profound reckoning with what it means to be American in a moment of national and global turmoil.

Biographical Notes

Suzy Hansen is contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and has written for many other publications. In 2007, she was awarded a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs to do research in Turkey. She currently lives in Istanbul. Notes on a Foreign Country is her first book.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472153883
  • Publication date: 17 Jan 2019
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: Corsair
Deeply honest and brave . . . A sincere and intelligent act of self-questioning . . . Hansen is doing something both rare and necessary — Hisham Matar, The New York Times Book Review (cover)
Elegant and persuasive — the Guardian
Ardent, often lovely . . . If Noam Chomsky could write like this, Hansen's work would already be done. — Karl Vick, TIME
Anchored in the work of James Baldwin, who spent several emancipatory years in Istanbul, her memoir is a piercingly honest critique of the unexamined white American life. — the New Yorker
A fluid amalgam of memoir, journalism and political critique - and a very readable challenge to American exceptionalism . . . Notes is also a paean to Istanbul, written by a woman in a state of "emotional genuflection" to the city that has welcomed her in. — Financial Times
Hansen turns a coming-of-age travelogue into a geopolitical memoir of sorts, without sacrificing personal urgency in the process . . . Her long stay in Istanbul (she's still there) gives her an outsider's vantage on myopic American arrogance that is bracing. And her fascinating insider's view of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rise upends Western simplicities . . . The experience is contagious. — Ann Hulbert, The Atlantic
Compelling . . . [Hansen] vividly captures the disorientation we experience when our preconceived notions collide with uncomfortable discoveries . . . Rare and refreshing . . . Hansen's principal injunction to Americans to understand how others view them and their country's policies is timely and urgent. — Ali Wyne, The Washington Post
Suzy Hansen's Notes on a Foreign Country is an essential, compelling read of an American woman's coming of age and her experience abroad. Hansen describes how her own narrative of the United States' role in geopolitics began to unravel only once she stepped out of her insular life in New York and into the unfamiliar world of Istanbul. With colorful anecdotes, observations, and telling interviews, Hansen seamlessly weaves together the complex fabric of Turkish society, and with that presents a fresh look at the United States and the perceptions abroad of its foreign policy and of its people. — Lynsey Addario, photographer and the author of It’s What I Do
[Hansen] asks probing and difficult questions that left me ruminating about their significance in our current political climate . . . An insightful read for any American who is, has been, or will be living abroad . . . Hansen's book serves as a call to serious reflection and action for white Americans, even, and perhaps especially, the liberal, well traveled, and well intentioned. — Rebecca Barr, Los Angeles Review of Books
To be an American is of itself, George Santayana once wrote, a moral condition and education. Notes on a Foreign Country embraces this fate with a unique blend of passionate honesty, coruscating insight, and tenderness. A book of extraordinary power, it achieves something very rare: it opens up new ways of thinking and feeling. — Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger
It is rare to come across an American writer who has moved through the world ? especially the Islamic world ? with the acute self-awareness and thoughtfulness of Suzy Hansen. She has deftly blended memoir, reportage, and history to produce a book of great beauty and intellectual rigor. Everybody interested in America and the Middle East must read it. — Basharat Peer, author of A Question of Order
Notes On a Foreign Country is at once a kaleidoscopic look at modern Turkey, a meditation on American identity in an age of American decline, and a gripping intellectual bildungsroman. I'm in awe of this wise, coruscating book. — Michelle Goldberg, author of The Goddess Pose

It's really quite simple: if you have any interest at all in how the non-Western world views America and Americans, you must read Suzy Hansen's beautifully composed memoir Notes on a Foreign Country. And when America's leaders complain ? while campaigning and in office ? that there is "great hatred" for the US (and that they want to get to the bottom of it), it should be required reading by government officials?all the way to the Oval Office.

— Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ
Sphere

Be The Change

Gina Martin
Authors:
Gina Martin

Without any legal or political experience, I changed the law and made upskirting illegal in eighteen months. But this book is not about changing the law. It's not about me. This is yours. It's your handbook, your road map and your toolkit for pushing for change at absolutely any level. From using social media to gain support and to getting pro bono legal support, to regaining your confidence after a perceived "failure" (hint: there is no such thing), I wrote this book to make sure you believe in your voice, feel ready to put yourself out there and know how to start making things happen. Because my god, if I can do it, so can you.BE THE CHANGE is an essential handbook for the modern activist, whether your campaign is big or small, local or global . . . or somewhere in between. If you want to challenge injustice in your school, workplace or community; if you want to lend your voice - and more - to a charitable cause close to your heart; or if you are inspired to take on a complex issue on a massive scale, Gina Martin's practical and empowering advice will give you the tools you need to ensure your voice is heard, your actions are noticed and your demands are met.

Hachette Audio

So Here's the Thing

Alyssa Mastromonaco
Authors:
Alyssa Mastromonaco
Constable

Not The Whole Story

Angela Huth
Authors:
Angela Huth

'A delightful memoir' Kate Saunders, The Times'Fabulous . . . dazzling' Tatler'Enchanting . . . movingly lyrical' Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Country LifeThis short volume has turned out to be merely a handful of recollections of well-remembered times and stories - some probably misremembered, too - and a few people who have played a crucial part in my life. And some confessions: I have never before tried to write about my doll phobia, for instance, or about the effect synaesthesia has had over the years. I can only hope that this collection of stories from times past might give some idea of a mostly happy life that has gone, and is going, much too fast.At the age of five Angela Huth decided she would become a writer. Hers was an idiosyncratic childhood. Her parents were known to be a highly glamorous couple: Harold was a famous actor and film director who possessed legendary charm; Bridget was known for her lively sense of humour, fluency in foreign languages and her penchant for giving memorable parties. But in spite of her parents' initial happiness, they parted after the war. Eleven years later they got back together, happily, though each would have a lover for decades. After her education ended prematurely - Bridget didn't believe in university for women - Angela Huth went from reluctant debutante to professional writer, switching from journalism to short stories, novels, plays for television and the stage.Praise for Angela Huth:'A first-class writer' Sunday Telegraph'There is a very strong case for Huth replacing Jane Austen on the school syllabus' Sunday Times'Angela Huth knows her own range and writes within it; she is an excellent exponent of the traditional English social comedy . . . she is in perfect control' Daily Telegraph

Sphere

This Will Only Hurt a Little

Busy Philipps
Authors:
Busy Philipps

'Funny, refreshingly candid memoir about Hollywood, motherhood and BFFhood' Cosmopolitan'Busy is a legit writer with a voice as clear as a bell' Tina Fey'Judy Blume meets Karl Ove Knausgaard meets one brave woman from Arizona' Miranda JulyA memoir by the beloved comedic actress known for her roles on Freaks and Geeks, Dawson's Creek, and Cougartown who has become 'the breakout star on Instagram stories . . . imagine I Love Lucy mixed with a modern lifestyle guru' (New Yorker).Busy Philipps's autobiographical book offers the same unfiltered and candid storytelling that her Instagram followers have come to know and love, from growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona and her painful and painfully funny teen years, to her life as a working actress, mother, and famous best friend.Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability, sense of humor, and sharp observations about life, love, and motherhood. Her conversational writing reminds us what we love about her on screens large and small. From film to television to Instagram, Busy delightfully showcases her wry humor and her willingness to bare it all.'I've been waiting my whole life to write this book. I'm just so grateful someone asked. Otherwise, what was the point of any of it??'

Sphere

Iron Ambition

Mike Tyson, Larry Sloman
Authors:
Mike Tyson, Larry Sloman
Little, Brown

Edge of Chaos

Dambisa Moyo
Authors:
Dambisa Moyo
Sphere

Eve's War

Evelyn Shillington, Barbara Fox
Authors:
Evelyn Shillington, Barbara Fox
Constable

Touched By God

Diego Maradona, Daniel Arnucci
Authors:
Diego Maradona, Daniel Arnucci

In June 1986 Diego Maradona, considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, proudly hoisted the '86 Mexico World Championship Cup in his hands.Now thirty years on from that magical game, and after a life in sports marked by controversy, Maradona tells, for the first time, the untold stories behind that one-of-a-kind World Cup. Mexico '86 was the pinnacle of Maradona's career, and in this book he will reveal all about every game, what happened afterwards in the locker room, the months leading up to the World Cup, when the team had to go to Mexico City a month early to avoid the overthrowing of the technical director by the Argentine president, Alfonsin, the mystery behind 'El Gran Capitán' Passarella ('78 World Cup Champion), the strategies and tactics that revolutionised the game, training in a country that was recovering from an earthquake, the public's hostility, the jerseys they went out to buy in Mexico City, the meeting in Colombia where the team really came together, his relationship to drugs: the clean World Cup, and the best goal in football history. Mexico '86 is Maradona's World Cup and Maradona is who he is because of that World Cup. Explosive, gritty and unapologetic, Touched by God will tell the inside story of one of the greatest football victories of all time.

Little, Brown

Forty Autumns

Nina Willner
Authors:
Nina Willner

In Forty Autumns, Nina Willner recounts the history of three generations of her family - mothers, sisters, daughters and cousins - separated by forty years of Soviet rule, and reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall.Shortly after the end of the Second World War, as the Soviets took control of the eastern part of Germany, Hanna, a schoolteacher's daughter, escaped with nothing more than a small suitcase and the clothes on her back. As Hanna built a new life in the West, her relatives (her mother, father and eight siblings) remained in the East. The construction of the Berlin Wall severed all hope of any future reunion. Hanna fell in love and moved to America. She made many attempts to establish contact with her family, but most were unsuccessful. Her father was under close observation; her mother, younger sister Heidi and the others struggled to adjust to life under a bizarre and brutal regime that kept its citizens cut off from the outside world. A few years later, Hanna had a daughter - Nina - who grew up to become the first female US Army intelligence officer to lead sensitive intelligence collection operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. At the same time, Heidi's daughter, Cordula, was training to become a member of the East German Olympic cycling team. Though separated by only a few miles, Nina and her relatives led entirely different lives. Once the Berlin Wall came down, and the families were reunited, Nina Willner discovered an extraordinary story. In Forty Autumns she vividly brings to life many accounts of courage and survival, set against the backdrop of four decades that divided a nation and the world.

Sphere

When the War Is Over

Barbara Fox
Authors:
Barbara Fox

THE TOUCHING TRUE STORYTwo young Second World War evacueesFar from home, far from family, safe from the warGwenda and Douglas Brady were among the millions of British children sent to live with new families for their own safety during the Second World War, leaving behind their parents, their friends and all that felt familiar and safe. Evacuation could be a scary experience, but five-year-old Gwenda and her brother were lucky enough to be housed with a kindly schoolmaster and his wife, and soon the realities of the war felt very far away.WHEN THE WAR IS OVER touchingly tells the story of how Gwenda and Doug found a second family and a loving home in the remote Lake District village of Bampton . . . and how the war touched the lives of everyone, even those far, far away from the big cities. Readers love WHEN THE WAR IS OVER:'One of the very best books I have ever read without a doubt. A wonderful HEARTWARMING story''A RIVETING read''All the people really came to life''A WONDERFUL record''True stories of life and VERY ENTERTAINING''NOSTALGIC and ENJOYABLE''An intimate record of what it was like as a young child being evacuated in WWII'

Constable

The Day the Music Died

Tony Garnett
Authors:
Tony Garnett

'An extraordinary book by an extraordinary man' Ken LoachTony Garnett's story begins in working-class, war-torn Birmingham where he movingly describes the trauma of his mother's death following a back-street abortion. Nineteen days later, stricken with grief, Tony's father committed suicide and Tony was sent to live with other family members. He eventually moved to London and was part of the counterculture scene in the 1960s.Tony takes us behind the scenes of a selection of his more famous productions, offering secrets and anecdotes, some moving, some amusing. He gives accounts of angry clashes with the BBC and movie executives as he battles to make films that are thought too controversial. Year after year he fought the BBC and movie bosses to bring to the public films about police corruption and psychiatrists' cruelty; films advocating abortion law reform and the abolition of the death penalty; films about the homeless and the waste of young people in poor schools.

Constable

Secret Diary of a 1970s Secretary

Sarah Shaw
Authors:
Sarah Shaw

Secret Diary of a 1970s Secretary is the diary of Sarah Shaw for the year of 1971, which she recently uncovered whilst clearing out her loft. Working as a secretary for the BBC at the time, Sarah's diary describes the life of a suburban girl who certainly wasn't 'swinging' but who was, ironically, not only working on a cutting edge BBC survey on sex education but also in the throes of an unlikely affair with middle-aged, working-class, Irish lift attendant, Frank.Sarah talks humorously and frankly about what it was like to be a young, working woman at the time as well as life at the BBC during the 1970s and the difficulties of navigating her first romance. She is funny and self-effacing with a self-knowledge that only few attain. Her innocence and naivety are hugely charming and the diary forms a valuable snapshot of a time not so far away that is now lost to us.

Piatkus

It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)

Nora McInerny Purmort
Authors:
Nora McInerny Purmort

'This story will compel you to both laugh and cry, just as the title promises. May we all bring Nora's honesty, passion and hope to our lives' Lena DunhamThis isn't a cancer story. It's a love story. Twenty-something Nora bounced from boyfriend to dopey 'boyfriend' until she met Aaron - a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who made her laugh. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron's hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed fifty years of marriage into the three they had, spending their time on what really mattered to them: Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs, each other and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora's arms. The wildly creative obituary they wrote during Aaron's hospice care touched the hearts of many.With It's Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your own wild and precious life to the fullest? How can a marriage that contains more sickness than health be so joyful? How do you keep going when life kicks you in the gut?Deeply moving and funny, It's Okay to Laugh is a love letter to life, in all its messy glory.

Corsair

Vessels

Daniel Raeburn
Authors:
Daniel Raeburn

An unforgettable portrait of a marriage tested to its limits.When Dan, a writer with a passion for underground comics, and his wife Bekah, a potter dedicated to traditional Japanese ceramics, met through a mutual friend, they swiftly fell in love. "Of all the women I've ever met," Dan told a friend, "she's the first one who felt like family." But at Christmas, as they prepared for the birth of their first child, tragedy struck.Based on Daniel Raeburn's acclaimed New Yorker essay, Vessels: A Memoir of What Wasn't is the story of how the couple clashed and clung to each other through a series of unsuccessful pregnancies before finally, joyfully, becoming parents. In prose as handsomely unadorned as his wife's pottery, Raeburn recounts a marriage cemented by the same events that nearly broke it.Vessels is an unflinching, enormously moving account of intimacy, endurance and love.

Virago

Saving Safa

Waris Dirie
Authors:
Waris Dirie
Constable

The Spaces In Between

Caroline Jones
Authors:
Caroline Jones

'Beautiful and heart-rending . . . I could smell Africa on every page' - A. A. GillCaroline Jones was born in Ethiopia and spent most of her childhood in East Africa. She read French and Spanish at Oxford University and went on to make documentaries for the BBC. Now aged 39, she is happily married with two children. Yet beneath this seemingly perfect public exterior, Caroline was in fact privately indulging in a pattern of destructive behaviour that left her exhausted, anxious, depressed and full of self-loathing - from the ages of 17 to 31, for 14 years, Caroline was suffering from an extremely widespread yet comparatively little-talked about mental illness - bulimia. Caroline is articulate, intelligent, insightful and frank about her experiences, interweaving the journey of her illness with memories of her African childhood, her time at Oxford, her work for the BBC, her family and other relationships, making for a warm and engaging memoir. Her perceptive, retrospective approach to her illness allows her to transcend the topic of bulimia and talk more generally about self-destructive behaviour - there are lessons here which will speak to a little part of everyone.

Virago

Stop the Clocks

Joan Bakewell
Authors:
Joan Bakewell

Joan Bakewell has led a varied, sometimes breathless life: she has been a teacher, copywriter, studio manager, broadcaster, journalist, the government's Voice of Older People and chair of the theatre company Shared Experience. She has written four radio plays, two novels and an autobiography ­- The Centre of The Bed. Now in her 80s, she is still broadcasting. Though it may look as though she is now part of the establishment - a Dame, President of Birkbeck College, a Member of the House of Lords as Baroness Bakewell of Stockport - she's anything but and remains outspoken and courageous. In Stop the Clocks, she muses on all she has lived through, how the world has changed and considers the things and values she will be leaving behind.Stop the Clocks is a book of musings, a look back at what she was given by her family, at the times in which she grew up - ranging from the minutiae of life such as the knowledge of how to darn and how to make a bed properly with hospital corners, to the bigger lessons of politics, of lovers, of betrayal. She talks of the present, of her family, of friends and literature - and talks too of what she will leave behind. This is a thoughtful, moving and spirited book as only could be expected from this extraordinary woman.

Sphere

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

Tom Cox
Authors:
Tom Cox

Have you ever moved house, over a distance of 350 miles, with four cats? If you haven't, and are thinking about it, I'll give you some advice: don't. If you really must move, try to get the cats to arrange their own transport. Focus on yourself instead. You'll have plenty to think about as it is, and the cats will only get in the way with their sarcasm and hairballs. I moved from Norfolk to Devon with four cats and it felt like such an impossible ordeal, part of me believes that I actually died somewhere along the way and am now living in some kind of afterlife: very much like real life, but a little slower moving, and with slightly clearer air. "That's just the West Country," I've been told, but I can't be 100% certain.

Sphere

Bandaging the Blitz

Phyll Macdonald Ross, I. D. Roberts
Authors:
Phyll Macdonald Ross, I. D. Roberts
Constable

The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum

Ian Hollingshead
Authors:
Ian Hollingshead

Telegraph letter writers, that most astute body of political commentators, are probably not alone in thinking that politics has taken some strange turns in recent years. The first coalition government since 1945 has led the country from the subprime to the ridiculous, lumbering from Leveson to Libya, riots to referendums, pasty-gate to pleb-gate, Brooks to Bercow, the Bullingdon Club to the Big Society.Five years is a long time in politics. Fortunately for us, it has also been a most fertile period for the Telegraph's legion of witty and erudite letter writers, who have their own therapeutic way of dealing with the pain. An institution in their own right, theirs is a welcome voice of sanity in a world in which the lunatics appear finally to have taken over the asylum.