His mother was of Irish descent.
Share via Email Bill Bryson admits he's got a problem. He's just been to Kenya, and he's got to write a little book about it, and nothing funny happened.
There were no stupid fat Americans incapable of doing their shoelaces up, no high school seniors "stupid as pig dribble", no landladies like Mrs Smegma to tick him off for not flushing the chain properly.
He now has two weeks to turn his observations into a little book that will be on sale for Christmas. After the interview, he says, he's going to rush off home and start writing. He's staring at his watch as we talk. The book's proceeds will go to Care International projects.
It is a gorgeous autumn day, and we are sitting in a park in central London. He is looking perfectly Bryson - green checked shirt wrapped in a green pullover wrapped in a green jacket.
His teeth are yellowing, his beard silver and orange and golden, his belly slightly pregnant. He looks rather like the gone-to-seed Americans he ridicules in his travel books.
Bryson is a phenomenon. For many years he worked quietly and efficiently as sub-editor on broadsheet newspapers. Then, in his late 30s, he and his family decided to retire to the Yorkshire dales where he would write travel books he has since moved back to America, to New England, with his wife and four children.
His first, The Lost Continent, sold millions. So did the rest. He is still surprised by his success. I remind him of the profiles that appeared, soon after he became well known, in which former colleagues said they were amazed that he could be so funny because he had never revealed much of a sense of humour at work.
I mean I'm really not. I'm one of those people who always screw up anecdotes. Bryson speaks quietly in a lilting, liquid voice. His sentences are diffident and fractured, often tumbling away to nothingness. It surprises me because his writing can be so sardonic, so scathing.
So many of the people he portrays are inadequate. Bryson the writer doesn't seem to have much time for the human race. Is he a misanthrope at heart?
Finally he settles on uncertainty. It seems to me I'm constantly disappointed.
I'm very easily disappointed. Disappointed in the things that people do; disappointed in the things that people construct.Bill Bryson poses these questions in his introduction to The Best American Travel Writing , and though he admits, “I wasn’t at all sure I knew the answer,” they are questions worthy of examination.
While the various contributors to this collection all travel for different reasons, one thing is for certain—they come back with stories.4/5(45).
African Diary by Bill Bryson 64pp, Doubleday, £ The famously sardonic travel-writer Bill Bryson assures the readers of his African Diary that "in acquiring this slender volume you didn't. Bill Bryson William McGuire “Bill” Bryson, OBE, is an American writer.
His work is of the best-selling category and comprises humorous books on travel; as well as . This website and its content is subject to our Terms and Conditions. Tes Global Ltd is registered in England (Company No ) with its registered office at 26 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4HQ/5(8).
Buy a cheap copy of Bill Bryson's African Diary book by Bill Bryson. Bill Bryson's African Diary by Bryson, Bill Free shipping over $ Africa Biographies Education & Reference General History Kenya Memoirs Travel Travel Writing Writing Writing, Research & Publishing Guides.
Customer Reviews. 5 ratings. but is contributing it all to /5(5). Bill Bryson’s bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent and Notes from a Small Island, which in a national poll was voted the book that best represents Britain. Another travel book, A Walk in the Woods, has become a major film starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson.