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‘Matchlessly witty. . . one of the country's funniest writers.’
- The Guardian

Published by Ebury Press

In bookshops now

British As A Second Language

A story of fitting into a country where almost nobody does

Click to see the above image bigger and sharper

Read what the UK press has said so far here.

From British As A Second Language:

At eighteen, I came to live in Britain, imbued with an idea of Britishness formed at a great distance. The four thousand miles between Nairobi and East Sussex may not sound much, measured against even the shorter hops across the heavens, but in every way that mattered - bar the spaceship and the tentacles - I was a creature from a faraway planet. I could not have been less well prepared had I spent my life up to that moment listening to thirty-year-old broadcasts of The Light Programme...

  The passport I showed at the Heathrow immigration desk confirmed that I was British, and made a much better job of it than I ever have. I've spent a further eighteen years doing my damnedest to pass for British and only now, when I have all but given up trying, do I seem to be making the slightest headway. I don't think it's all down to me. I have been to countries where the language sounds like castanets, while the dress calls to mind costumes in an avant-garde puppet play, and not found them one fraction so complicated or strange...

STARTLED by the success of David Bennun's first book, Tick Bite Fever, Ebury Press has agreed to let him write a second one.

Tick Bite Fever, David's memoir of his Kenyan childhood, has been described variously as “enchanting and amazing” (The Daily Mail), “simply hilarious” (Press Association), “itching with mordant wit” (Uncut), “a delight” (The Guardian), “charming and witty” (The Independent on Sunday), “often so funny you will find it hard not to laugh out loud” (TLS) and “yellowy-brown” (those who judged it by its cover).

Said an Ebury spokesperson: “Tick Bite Fever has shifted 22,000 copies to date, which is 21,993 more than anyone expected. That's good going for a first-time author with a small immediate family, and no friends whatsoever.

  “After The Guardian's reviewer called David ‘one of the country's funniest writers’, we even went so far as to read the book ourselves. We had to borrow Jonathan Cape's dictionary to look up some of the longer words, but it was worth the bother.

  “We're delighted to be publishing David's new book, although we're a tad discouraged his inexplicable refusal to work in a few recipes and a boy wizard or two.”

British As A Second Language is a portrait of the author's second adoptive country (much as Tick Bite Fever was of his first), and an account of his efforts to fit in here - a challenge that has defeated plenty of natives, let alone newcomers. Early reports suggest the book is so funny that medical attention should be sought by those attempting to read it all in one go. That all of these early reports have since been traced back to the author himself should not be taken to undermine the spirit of the thing.

It will be available in all good bookshops, probably filed under “Educational”. This will come as no surprise to the author, given that Tick Bite Fever was spotted in the “Entomology” section at Blackwells. Really.

For press enquiries, please contact Charlotte Dollin at the Ebury publicity office on 020 7840 8730 (+44 20 7840 8730 outside the UK), or email David directly here

To order a copy from, please click here.

Also available:

order Tick Bite Fever from

All material on this site is copyrighted to David Bennun and may not be reprinted or reused without permission.

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