Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami’s most recent book is Murder at Wrotham Hill.

Quite Nice: Fernande Olivier

Diana Souhami, 13 December 2001

Fernande Olivier, like Frank Wedekind’s Lulu, sexualised all her relationships with men and served their desires while lamenting that her own were unfulfilled. She lived through her lovers in order perhaps to gain a passing sense of who she was. As each of her affairs in turn went wrong, she moved to a different man. This was a pattern she repeated until late middle age. Then she made...

Daisy Chains: Sappho 1900

Emma Hogan, 20 May 2021

Sylvia Beach said that Americans came to the Left Bank for two things they couldn’t get at home, alcohol and Ulysses, but they also came for the cafés, the galleries, the nightlife. Butch women could...

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It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair, and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle...

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Nurses are tough subjects for biography. Their ethos of compassion and, sometimes, self-sacrifice can lead to hagiography or – when times change – invite satire. It’s hard to...

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The island of Lesbos: talk about a small world. Pick up any edition of Sappho’s fragments and the same old names keep coming up: Erinna, Gongyla, Attis, Kleis, Anactoria. You would think...

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You could scream

Jenny Diski, 20 October 1994

The last thing that dreams should do is come true. It would end in futile tears if they did, much as it would for the autophagist who chomps away at himself from the legs up until he comes to his...

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