Published: 28/11/2015
ISBN: 9781785890444
Format: Paperback

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About the Author

I turned to writing fiction after 40 years of teaching in England, Wales, the United States, Portugal and Germany. Please read my earlier fiction: Nomads' Rest, Troubador Publishing, 2011 (novel... read more

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Body English
Anglo-American Encounters
by Barry Baddock

When Americans and Britons meet, the silent power of Body English can cause lives to swerve, collide and veer. These eight stories tell of people whose paths and destinies were nudged into new directions by Body English.

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Body English: the unconscious twisting of the body after launching, hitting or kicking a ball, as if to guide its course / the irregular movement or spin of a propelled object as if it were influenced by this twisting.
The American Heritage Dictionary.

Americans and Brits share values, a language, a history and a cultural heritage. We see eye-to-eye, do we not? But put an American into a crowd of Brits, and lives veer off-course and find new tangents. Put a Brit among Americans, and nothing is quite as it was, or seemed. Oddities happen. People may remain themselves and hold to their path. But they find that path has curved to a detour. When American collides with Brit, the waves can be ever so brief, and all may come to rest as it was. But they can as well prove long and strong, and break on new, unheard-of shores.

Two bikers – one British, one American – take shelter in an abandoned prairie schoolhouse. Slowly, bizarrely, its splintered desks, forgotten drawings and ragged, dusty flag evoke the shared myths of boyhood.

In a Yorkshire restaurant, American Sally Meline meets an old lady who disturbingly resembles her dead mother. And soon, Sally finds she has been hooked like a fly in the web.

An Englishman and an American, “the last hobos”, steal rides on a freight train to Oregon. But when it lurches to a halt in the middle of a forest, they discover – chillingly – that they are not alone.

At midnight in the Gulf of Mexico, four roustabouts troop onto an oil rig and play their version of the English game. There, in the glare of arc lamps, an amazing new enterprise is born: Louisiana Cricket.

Put it all down to Body English …

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