Squawks are heard all over London these days from newly-fledged birds being pushed off the twig. The reasons for not leaving home multiply: no money, no job, rents high, flats scarce. With the decay of the old custom of not fornicating under the parental roof the strongest reason for having a place of your own has gone. Forced contiguity is exacerbated by the New Frankness. The children of the Sixties (the ones born then) have a view of the infantile passions, the neurotic insecurity, and the vulnerability, of their parents which might accompany a severe scepticism about all human relationships. Have age and experience done nothing for these parents? they ask. Their younger brothers and sisters, born in the Seventies, have even worse cases to manage. But at least they now have a laureate.
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[*] The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend (Methuen, 173 pp. and 192 pp., £5.50 and £1.95, and £4.95 and £1.95, 7 October 1982 and 27 October 1983, and 2 August 1984 and 1 August 1985, 0 413 50890 0 and 0 413 53130 9).
[†] Rupert: A Bear’s Life by George Perry with Alfred Bestall (Pavilion, 168 pp., £9.95, 11 November, 0 907516 76 9).