"The Anglo Files" give American view of English

Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:40pm EDT
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By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - What is it with the English? They may appear wittier and more cultured than Americans, but are they really class-obsessed, repressed, rude and angry?

That's partly the way they are painted in a new book called "The Anglo Files," by American journalist Sarah Lyall who has studied them on their home ground.

"When you come from America, you think people will like you, but here there is a sense of envy and animosity towards you," Lyall, who writes for the New York Times, said.

"They are scared of you and angry that you have taken over their culture," she added in a telephone interview.

Lyall is married to an English man, which gives her a closer insight into the English character. She also has two daughters who are growing up British, "despite my efforts to Americanize them."

She has lived in Britain for 13 years and reported on major news stories such as the aftermath of Princess Diana's death and the London subway bombings.

"I really love it here, but feel I will never fit in, no matter how long I stay," she explained.

In her book she paints a picture of a sometimes quirky and eccentric race. but writes with fondness about the people of her adopted home.   Continued...

<p>Racegoers wait for the start of the first race at the Epsom Downs race course in the south of England June 7, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico</p>