Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
25 October 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:10am

So Bill Bryson, why the beard?

“I’d be frightened to see what my chin looked like.”

By Jon Bernstein

There are any number of topics you can discuss with a polymath like Bill Bryson. So why waste time asking impertinent questions about personal grooming? Because sometimes they elicit an interesting and entertaining answer, such as this one:

Q: Why the beard?

A: I think it’s because I’d be frightened to see what my chin looked like. The beard was grown when I was at university and also working at the evening paper at Des Moines, Iowa, and had to be at the office at 5.30 every morning, having been up quite late drinking the night before. One of the casualties of that was grooming altogether. I’ve never rediscovered any of those skills.

You can read the full Bill Bryson interview here.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Transport is the core of levelling up
The forgotten crisis: How businesses can boost biodiversity
Small businesses can be the backbone of our national recovery