Amanda Hodgkinson: HAHJ-kin-son (like hodge-podge)
Amanda Hodgkinson was born in Burnham-on-Sea, England, and earned an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. She now lives with her husband and two daughters in a farmhouse in the southwest of France.
This biography was last updated on 04/28/2011.
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Amanda Hodgkinson Discusses 22 Britannia Road
What drew you to this particular story of Polish World War II survivors living in England?
As a child, I was always fascinated when the adults around me talked about World War II. These were older family members who had lived through it, and I would try to stay quiet so I could listen without being discovered. Their voices changed to lower registers, there were weighted silences in the conversations, sad looks, secretive whispering, and then somebody would notice me and send me out to play, their voice swinging up a register to convey a gaiety they probably didn't feel.
The stories were about families and relationships. Mostly they were about the difficulties of people coming back together in peacetime. Of damaged men coming home from war and women trying to pick up the pieces. Of families broken by separations and children born out of wedlock. Of British GI brides waving good-bye to their families, joining American husbands, and of European immigrants, pale and gaunt, arriving on ships, hoping to begin new, safe lives in postwar Britain. I would go to bed at night, sick at heart thinking about these stories, and wonder how the world ever managed to get back to normal after that...
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