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Diplomatic Baggage


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Bridget Jones's mother meets Katie Hickman's Daughters of Britannia in a hilarious memoir of home-making and family adventures in the world's furthest outposts

About the Author

Brigid Keenan has worked on Nova, edited sections of the Sunday Times and contributed a regular column to Punch and Sainsbury's Magazine. The author of four previous books, she is married to the EU's man in Brussels.


'Brigid Keenan vividly evokes both the oddities and loneliness, even today, of being the "other half" of a diplomat. Immediate and intimate, poignant and very funny; it is as if she is talking to the reader. Her eagle-eyed observation of human behaviour and far flung experiences made me laugh out loud.' -- Josceline Dimbleby 20041006 'Life is what you make of it -- you can't just sit there and let it happen to you -- you've got to grab opportunities with both hands, or you risk boredom at least, depression and deathbed regrets at worst. Women have not been raised to understand the importance of this. Brigid Keenan rams the message home with hilarity. This is an important book, written by a very funny writer.' -- Shirley Conran 20041101 'Bridget Jones' mother meets Katie Hickman's Daughters of Britannia ... I've a hunch this is going to do very well.' -- Bookseller 20041105 'The verve, the fun and the disasters of a life spent trekking round the world is vividly conveyed.' -- Publishing News 20041112 'The story sparkles, flies, delights. You love Keenan, the weepy, flighty, funny bit of diplomatic baggage but a part of your heart goes out to AW, her partner, who puts up and shuts up. But what makes this book special is how with a light touch Keenan exposes the dark corners, the frustrations, the dilemmas of those who go forth to represent their country. The grand houses and lifestyles hide so much, silence so many. But not Bridget Keenan.' -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 20041101 'There are a handful of books I should dearly love to have written myself, and this is one of them. By the end, I felt as if I had lived a whole new life in an unfamiliar and wondrous world that lies somewhere between that of Arthur Grimble's Pattern of Islands and Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. Like all the best memoirs, Brigid's book is endlessly engaging, full of delightful details, very funny and sometimes rather sad.' -- Christopher Matthew, author of Now We are Sixty 20041101 'I am furious! Fancy sending me Bridge's book when I'm so busy. I've just spent three whole hours chortling, giggling and wheezing my way through it -- and nary a pot washed or a keyboard key pressed all morning! Very few books these days make me laugh out loud -- this one provoked loud hoots at the rate of three per page. It's the funniest thing I've read since Jilly Cooper stopped writing properly and turned to sex and four-letter words. If this isn't a runaway best-seller I'll run away myself and live in Kazakhstan.' -- Mary S Lovell, author of The Mitford Girls 20041101 'What fun! Brigid Keenan, has written these anecdotal memoirs with a seasoning of undiplomatic mischief that is beguiling and unexpected in the wife of a peripatetic diplomat. Even in postings as remote and unlikely as Kazakhastan, or as bland and unpromising as Belgium, Keenan is incapable of boredom and therefore, she cannot be boring. Particularly, her delight in the antiquities of the Middle East and the old city of Damascus is knowledgeable and infectious. She is the person you hope will be seated next to you at a dinner party: a companion of experience, vivacity and charm. To read her book is to meet her and to meet her is to be enthralled.' -- Irma Kurtz, Cosmopolitan agony aunt 20041101 'Brigid may have sobbed her way round the world in her diplomat husband's wake but her reward -- and ours -- is an inexhaustible stream of ludicrous events and witty observations. Her book has the authentic voice of a born storyteller and a very funny writer.' -- Lesley Garner, author of How to Survive as a Wo 20041101 'It's possibly the first time the travails of the envoy's family life have been so wittily spelled out.' -- Diplomat 20050503 'A witty, funny, touching book full of riveting anecdotes. Part-memoir, part-manual, part-travelogue, part-diary and wholly delicious ... if this book doesn't leave Brigid Jones in the ha'penny place, I'll eat my furry hat.' -- Image magazine 20050205 'A wonderfully funny, mischievous account of the adventures and travails of a diplomatic "spouse". It really did make me laugh out loud, startling the cat. Brigid Keenan is quite as hilarious a comic invention as Bridget Jones, only she's REAL.' -- Julie Christie 20041101 'For anyone with an ambition to build a career in the diplomatic corps (this) should be required reading.' -- Public Servant 20050408 'A must read' -- Living Abroad Magazine 20050601 'Dull this book certainly is not!' -- Tablet 20050401 'Insightful and extremely entertaining' -- Traveller 20050601 'Light-hearted and eminently readable ... a vivacious and engaging dialogue with the reader ... She brings to life her experiences by painting vivid images' -- Music Week 20050701 'Hilarious and engaging ... an entertaining account which is hard to put down' -- Orient Express Magazine 20050701 'Never let it be said that the life of a diplomat's wife is totally boring ... a very entertaining book' -- Writing Magazine 20050701 'With a glorious sense of the ridiculous, she depicts herself as a hyperventilating hysteric, who sobs her doom-ridden fantasies into reality.' -- The Spectator 20050430 'Glorious' -- Publishing News 20050812 'Brigid writes like a dream ! fabulous' -- Joanna Lumley 20041101 'A wonderful picaresque take on the travails of expat life, and an absolutely delicious read ... There are not many books that have actually made me cry from laughing, but this is one of them' -- Katie Hickman, Sunday Times 20050220 'I found myself laughing out loud three or four times a page. Quite unlike anything else I have read: sad, touching, honest and observant.' -- William Dalrymple 20050220 'Thirty years of far-flung postings later, she has acquired enough farcical experiences to make this memoir irresistible.' -- Mail on Sunday 20050227 'She is consistently herself, an observant journalist with a beady eye for local eccentricities ... Life with Brigid Keenan could never be boring.' -- Country Life 20050324 'Vogue loves ... Diplomatic Baggage' -- Vogue 20050301 'The story sparkles, flies, delights.' -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 20041101 'Brigid's book is endlessly engaging, full of delightful details, very funny and sometimes rather sad.' -- Christopher Matthew, author of Now We Are Sixty 20041101 'It's the funniest thing I've read since Jilly Cooper stopped writing properly and turned to sex and four-letter words.' -- Mary S Lovell, author of The Mitford Girls 20041101 'Deliciously effervescent.' -- Times 20060701 'Perfect tone ! surprising, astute, brilliantly observed and very human' -- Ahdaf Soueif, The Guardian 20060701

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