- Soho Square II edited by Ian Hamilton
Bloomsbury, 287 pp, £12.95, November 1989, ISBN 0 7475 0506 3
Bloomsbury have again brought out their hefty collection of contemporary writing just in time for Christmas, and indeed the enterprise is suffused with a sort of Christmas spirit. This ‘feast of new writing’ conjures up images of a lavish get-together where the nation’s literati – that quarrelsome but essentially close-knit family – bury their differences and gather noisily around the dinner table. Crusty old patriarchs and rebellious daughters sit in amicable adjacency, Candia McWilliam pulls crackers with Harold Pinter, and the whole atmosphere (though no one would like to admit it) is rather jolly.
Vol. 12 No. 3 · 8 February 1990
I was surprised to read in Jonathan Coe’s review of Soho Square II (LRB, 21 December 1989) that the failure of my husband (Stephen Amidon) to give my name in the Contributors’ Notes was ‘shot through with some very traditional assumptions’. I take this to mean sexist and would like to say that my name doesn’t appear in the notes because I didn’t want it to. Our 14-month-old daughter Clementine did not express similar objections, so her name was put in. I had thought that by omitting my name from my husband’s work I would be able to avoid the attention of condescending males who feel that my worth is derived from his achievement or behaviour. Unfortunately this doesn’t appear to be the case.