Doris Grumbach

Doris Grumbach most recent novel, The Magician’s Girl, is reviewed in this issue by Charles Nicholl. She lives in Washington DC.

Just William

Doris Grumbach, 25 June 1987

Willa Cather is one of those American writers whose fictional accomplishments were both applauded and judged harshly when she was alive. Now, forty years after her death, they are the subject of increasing critical interest. In her lifetime she was praised by H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, Louise Bogan, but Edmund Wilson said that One of Ours, her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, was a complete failure and that My Antonia ended on the level of a Ladies Home Journal serial. Lionel Trilling called The Professor’s House ‘lame’ and Ernest Hemingway thought Cather had found the war experiences described in One of Ours in D.W. Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation.

Old Ladies

D.A.N. Jones, 20 August 1992

Marguerite Yourcenar was a highly honoured French writer, the first woman to be elected to the Académie Française, but her mother came from the Low Countries. The mother died in...

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The Literature Man

Charles Nicholl, 25 June 1987

Malcolm Bradbury has what the political image-makers call ‘high definition’. We know who he is, where he’s coming from, what he stands for. As a novelist he belongs to a...

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Alan Hollinghurst, 17 September 1981

In his moving first novel The Sweet Shop Owner Graham Swift illuminated the history of one man through flashbacks on the last day of that man’s life. Through the succinctly evoked...

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