Ten childhood snapshots from the master of the monologue
A Strip of Blue Proper Names
Alan Bennett recalls his childhood in a sequence of talks that are funny, touching and told in his unique style.
Hampered, as he sees it, by a family that never manages to be quite like other families, he recounts his early years in Leeds - 'a place where one learned early on the quite useful lesson that life is generally something that happens elsewhere': there is hiking every Sunday, trips into town and teas in cafes. It's an ordinary childhood; Bennett's father's a butcher, his mother a reader of women's magazines who dreams of coffee mornings and cocktail parties and life 'Down South'.
He re-lives family crises, early pieties and the last of a tradition of musical evenings round the piano, in tales that are told with that wry observation and ironic understatement that has earned Alan Bennett his place in the forefront of contemporary writing.
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