NOT TO THE MANNER BORN: Reflections of a Wife and Partner in the Foreign Service

Helen Lyman
Scarith, 2010
138 Pages, 14 Photos
ISBN 978-0-9828061-7-3 Paperback

For BULK ORDERS, order directly from New Academia Publishing.

About the Author

Born in 1935 in San Francisco, California, to parents who had fled Nazi Germany, Helen Lyman acquired a master’s degree in counseling from Bowie State College and worked as a family counselor for seven years in Washington, D.C.  Posted overseas with her husband, she worked as a first grade teacher and as a computer trainer. Her work for the State Department took her to China, El Salvador, Turkey, South Korea, Israel, Swaziland, and Botswana, as well as South Africa, where her husband was ambassador. The Lymans have three daughters and eleven grandchildren. Helen Lyman died from cancer in 2008.

About the book

Helen Lyman began writing in 2001 about the more humorous incidents she witnessed as the wife of an American diplomat. She saw the overseas life through the prism of someone who never thought of herself as being born to the trappings of diplomatic life.  Her essays recount incidents from South Korea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Washington. They include incidents with the famous – Nelson Mandela, Al and Tipper Gore, Hillary Clinton — and the not so famous whom she loved, like her first grade students in Nigeria.  From housewife to family counselor, to teacher, to computer trainer for the State Department, she records the human touches of each of those and in the process her own development. Just as she was looking forward to a rich retirement life, illness struck. In those later years she wrote more about her early life, her family, the loss of a child, and her dreams for herself and for her country. The final work is thus not a traditional memoir.  It is a rich journey. Near the end of her life, she turned to poetry and recorded her final thoughts in that way.

This is a book in the ADST Memoirs and Occasional Papers Series.

To order from ADST email: