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Norma Kitson

Story: ‘Masimba’

Norma Kitson, 20 February 1986

You’ve probably often heard tell of the day when the Prime Monster of South Africa visited the people at Stinkhole Bantustan. Because that was an historic occasion – because of the honour of it. So I know you won’t mind hearing about it all over again. A story is a strange thing that depends on the teller. One person leaves the important bit to the end, another puts it in the middle and another will leave it out altogether. The way this one was told to me, the bit about what happened afterwards was the important bit, and it got left out. But, as I say, it depends on who is doing the telling. And it also depends on who is doing the listening.’

Smoking

Norma Kitson, 7 March 1985

‘Why don’t you stop smoking?’ Pauline said to me after dinner when we were sitting in front of the fire in her sitting-room.

Letter

Hunger Strikes

6 August 1981

SIR: Sean O’Faolain (LRB, 6 August) takes all hunger strikers, lumps them as savages without proper history, and with supreme arrogance – a great failing hereabout (and thereabout) – and probably never having been the victim of anything more than burnt bacon – dismisses all their different real and horrid circumstances in a cool learned splodge of linguistic goo. If only he...

The End

Angela Carter, 18 September 1986

The situation in South Africa is such that, by the time this review appears in print, the two books with which it deals may already belong to the past, both in their different ways witnesses to...

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