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Acapulcalypse

Patrick Parrinder, 23 November 1989

Christopher Unborn 
by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Alfred MacAdam.
Deutsch, 531 pp., £13.95, October 1989, 0 233 98016 4
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The Faber Book of Contemporary Latin American Short Stories 
edited by Nick Caistor.
Faber, 188 pp., £11.99, September 1989, 0 571 15359 3
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Hollywood 
by Gore Vidal.
Deutsch, 543 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 9780233984957
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Oldest living Confederate widow tells all 
by Allan Gurganus.
Faber, 718 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571142019
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... the drawbacks’. Champagne and silver forks are in short supply in Falls, North Carolina, where Allan Gurganus’s Confederate widow has lived for more than ninety years. A first-person narrator – ‘My English may be ugly as a mud fence but I know what a story is,’ she boasts – Lucy Marsden tells her story, and many other people’s stories, to ...
Selected Poems 
by James Merrill.
Carcanet, 152 pp., £9.95, April 1996, 1 85754 228 2
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... in his encouragement of lesser (or even equal) writers. ‘Was anybody ever better company?’ Allan Gurganus recalls. ‘Ready as he was to laugh, making James Merrill laugh pleased us like a good week’s work. And oh to be thought talented and graceful by the one person alive who was most purely both’. Nights and Days (1966) contains three of ...

My God, the Suburbs!

Colm Tóibín: John Cheever, 5 November 2009

Cheever: A Life 
by Blake Bailey.
Picador, 770 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 330 43790 5
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... In 1973, when he began teaching at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he had T.C. Boyle, Ron Hansen and Allan Gurganus as students. Not only were these talented young writers, but one of them – Gurganus – was extremely handsome (as the photograph included in Bailey’s biography makes abundantly clear) and, as Bailey ...

Desperately Seeking Susan

Terry Castle: Remembering Susan Sontag, 17 March 2005

... shot clipped from Newsweek; two that had appeared in the New York Times; another printed alongside Allan Gurganus’s obituary in the Advocate, a glossy American gay and lesbian mag usually devoted to pulchritudinous gym bunnies, gay sitcom stars and treatments for flesh-eating strep. It seemed the least I could do for the bedazzling, now-dead ...

A Shark Swims through It

Lidija Haas: A Talent for Nonchalance, 8 March 2018

A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays and Poetry 
edited by Kevin Bowen and Nora Paley.
Farrar, Straus, 371 pp., $27, October 2017, 978 0 374 16582 6
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... a passionate interior life – all that noise coming in. You have to make music of it somehow.’ Allan Gurganus, who studied with her as a young man, has described how, in her classes, everyone was encouraged to talk at once, with Paley acting as conductor – he remembered it as ‘stereophonic sound’. From childhood, she had been at ease amid bustle ...

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