After a decade in the London media, Joanna Coles and Peter Godwin set sail for a new life in New York. The Three of U.S. is the amusing diary of an affectionate but unconventional and frequently volatile relationship between two competing hypochondriacs about to become parents.
He’s preoccupied by the lump on his elbow. She’s trying to determine the accuracy of the DIY pregnancy-testing kit.
In September 1997, as the quay side band played them off in the drizzle, they anticipated a life of glamorous parties, power brunches and weekend trips to the Bahamas. She had been posted to New York as the Guardian correspondent – but discovered that most New Yorkers mistake the paper for the in-house pamphlet published by La Guardia Airport. He decided to write ‘the novel’: a year later, it’s largely unfinished.
What will make them most anxious – learning that they earn less than their neighbour’s dog, or being mistaken for a serial killer by the local newsagent? Neither of these: it’s the pink line on the second box of the tester stick… For Joanna’s is a pelvis with a passenger.
In this joint diary, we follow the progress of two resident aliens acclimatising to the eccentricities of the Big Apple – and to the idea of parenthood. Drawing on an eclectic cast of supporting characters – from over-achieving, pill-popping friends, to their drill sergeant of a birthing instructor and fearsome cleaning ladies – The Three of U.S. is a wryly real look at the panic of thirtysomethings everywhere.
‘sharp, true and funny’
‘this witty and rueful chronicle is, unlike giving birth, nothing but fun’
‘a droll, delightful diary’
‘funny and moving’
About the author
Peter Godwin won the Esquire Waterstones Apple Award and the George Orwell Prize in 1996 for his best-selling memoir Mukiwa, A White Boy in Africa. He was an award-winning foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times, and an award-wining staff correspondent for BBC television’s foreign affairs programmes, ‘Assignment’ and ‘Correspondent’. He now writes for, among others, National Geographic, Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine.
Joana Coles was on the sataff of the Spectator, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian. She was the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Medium Wave’ and a regular contributor to ‘The Late Show’. Since 1998 she has written a weekly column for The Times from New York.