From the Daily Telegraph, Friday 11th April, 1997 - Page 29

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By 1960 she had stopped writing plays for both the theatre and television and began to concentrate on magazines as a source of income. She wrote for Harpers Bazaar and the New Yorker before being asked to write her autobiography. Underfoot in Showbusiness was published in 1961 and she followed it with two more books, an account of her devotion to Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (The Q Effect) and then in 1971 84 Charing Cross Road. In New York, Helene Hanff spent her time researching a walking guide to the city entitled Apple of My Eye, which was published in 1976. On the wireless she became a monthly contributor of accounts of life in New York to Women's Hour on the BBC from 1978 to 1985.

By the late 1980s, after the enormous success of 84 Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff, then in her early seventies, began to reduce the amount of work she produced. She was diagnosed as suffering from diabetes in 1989 but continued to smoke and drink, although both were prohibited by her doctor. "I gave up sugar, but that was easy because it gave me cramp in my legs. That's my advice for all you diabetics out there, stay off sugar."

In 1992 Helene Hanff published her last book, A Letter from New York, a collection of her earlier Women's Hour talks. She continued to live in the same apartment she had leased in the 1950s on the strength of her scriptwriting contract and she continued to read English poetry and to visit England as often as possible. "If I had a million pounds and my life over again," she said, "I'd have a flat in Marylebone and spend my days walking around London looking for Noel Coward's Mayfair, Samuel Pepys's Fleet Street and Isaac Walton's meandering river."

Helene Hanff never married.

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Helene Hanff (1980): "Who could have imagined
a film about a business correspondence?"

Please select and click an article name to read the piece...
Daily Telegraph - April 11 1997

Article on Helene's death and revealing the tantalising information that Helene had a secret love affair with "a very famous American".
The Guardian - April 11, 1997

Full obituary - again split into parts ONE and TWO.
The Independent - April 14, 1997

Short obit notice.
Daily Telegraph - April 11, 1997

Full obituary - long article which I've split into parts ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR and FIVE