Born and raised in America, Bill Bryson arrived on the damp shores of Dover, England, in his twenties. He ended up settling down, getting married, and raising a family. Feeling like they should experience his homeland, Bryson made the decision to move back to the USA. Before he did, however, he had one last hurrah around the UK, writing his now-famous book Notes from a Small Island. Later, he wrote a companion from across the pond – Notes from a Big Country.
Bryson split his life between the two countries, able to identify the oddities and quirks that the ‘natives’ were too close to see. Even after living in the UK for many years, he felt halfway caught between the two countries, a feeling that remained after returning to America after so long gone.
While my own experience has been much more condensed and from a much younger age, I definitely feel a common bond with Bryson’s writings, which is why the name ‘Small Island, Big Country’ seemed especially fitting for my blog.