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Adopting America – conversation overheard in a cinema

I’m alone at the cinema waiting for the movie to start, half way through my first box of Raisinets when I hear the following conversation in the row behind me.

Woman One: “You’re a saint, Sherry. Adopting that little girl no one else wanted. I am just so proud of you!”

Woman Two: “We’d wanted an infant, but adoption’s so hard these days, especially when you’re older, so we took a three year old.”

The sound of popcorn munching.

Woman Two: “Just think what kind of a life she’d be facing if it weren’t for you! You’re a saint, Sherry!”

“Excuse me,” I say, turning towards them, “I hate to interrupt, but I was adopted.”

They’re smiling at me. There’s nothing like an English accent at times like these.


“Yes. And isn’t it true that you are adopting a child because you couldn’t have children of your own and wanted to be a parent?”

“Yes,” says Woman Two.

“Then you’re not adopting because you’re a saint, are you?”

“I suppose not.”

“I don’t mean to be rude, honestly I don’t, but I just think people should be honest about what they’re doing, that’s all. Raisinet anyone?”

Alison talks about adoption in her new show Alison Larkin Live! BOOK ALISON for you next event.

Jane Austen and Friday Night LIVE!

Alison Larkin directing

Alison Larkin directing a comedy show with ten American teenagers.

This week I am directing and emceeing a comedy show with ten American teenagers. It’s 2017 and this is Trump’s America so of course there will be political commentary – but the kids will be satirizing the world around them in other ways. Some of them are extremely funny.

At the same time I’ve been asked to write a blog about the just-released audiobook of Northanger Abbey and The History of England by Jane Austen which had me laughing out loud in the studio during the narration.

Northanger Abbey was Jane Austen’s first novel and it is, amongst many other things, a mischievous parody of The Mysteries of Udolpho, (a hugely popular Gothic novel of the time – think 18th Century Twilight).

A few years earlier, in 1791, when she was just 16, Jane Austen wrote “The History of England – by a partial, prejudiced and ignorant Historian.” Then she added N.B. There will be very few Dates in this History.”

The History of England is a parody of a text book all school children had to study at the time in which the young Jane Austen pokes fun at the historians of the day who pretended to be objective when they clearly were not, and wrote about the kings and queens of England with less respect (and more wit) than a British newspaper.

Friday Night LIVE! satirizes politics, school and a host of other things through a combination of sketch, improv and stand-up comedy.

Is there a link between a British novelist and ten American teenagers performing comedy in a small American town over 200 years later?  You tell me.

Northanger Abbey audiobookTo download the audiobook of Northanger Abbey and The History of England narrated by Alison Larkin, click here. For every audiobook bought through THIS link, $5.00 will be donated to the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.

“Raised in England by adoptive parents, Alison Larkin was actually born in America. She herself is a comic writer and performer—and she approaches Austen as a satirist—she has genuine theatrical skill—sustained comic creations. The voice reveals all.”
—The New Yorker