Rachel Ingalls

Rachel Ingalls wrote eleven short story collections and novellas, the best known of which is Mrs Caliban. She was born in the US but spent most of her adult life in London, where she died in 2019.

Getting out of Djarkata

Rachel Ingalls, 6 October 1983

The Australian film-maker Peter Weir’s The Year of Living Dangerously is set in Djakarta shortly before the failed Communist coup of 1965. The story concerns three characters: Guy Hamilton, a half-Australian, half-American reporter working on his first big assignment for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Jill Bryant, English assistant to the British military attachè; and Billy Kwan, a dwarf-like photographer who is half-Australian, half-Chinese, and who takes secret photographs and keeps lengthy files on the other characters, especially the ones he cares about. The audience is actually introduced to Guy as Billy is typing up the dossier on him. Billy is like a stage-manager: he teams up with Guy, furthers his career by getting him an interview with the head of the Communist Party, and introduces him to Jill in the hope that the two will fall in love, which they do.

Belfast Book

Patricia Craig, 5 June 1986

The first of these writers, M.S. Power, has a searing metaphor to describe the effect of Ireland on certain people, those native to it and others: nailed to the place, they end up as in a...

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Paley’s Planet

Robert Walshe, 17 April 1986

I have been asking myself lately why reading collections of short stories should be a slog, and I think I have found the answer. It’s the problem of the rich man with a closet full of new...

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Good Girls and Bad Girls

Anita Brookner, 2 June 1983

Those happy readers who sing hymns of praise to lyrical childhoods, their own, and, by extension, those in their favourite works of fiction, would do well to study Deborah Moggach’s...

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