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Was Carmen brainwashed?

Patrick Parrinder

5 December 1985
Life goes on 
by Alan Sillitoe.
Granada, 517 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 246 12709 0
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Men and Angels 
by Mary Gordon.
Cape, 239 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 224 02998 3
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Heavenly Deception 
by Maggie Brooks.
Chatto, 299 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 9780701128647
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Love Always 
by Ann Beattie.
Joseph, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 7181 2609 2
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... emerges from this lucid and passionate indictment is that the cults, for all their other-worldly claims, encourage the abuse of power over others in a manner all too worldly and human. In Love Always AnnBeattie takes a racy and mildly satirical look at another bizarre world, that of contemporary media luminaries. This is a story of what happens when Hollywood comes to Vermont or, more precisely ...
1 June 2000
Driving the Heart 
by Jason Brown.
Cape, 224 pp., £10, January 2000, 0 224 06053 8
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... to overstate Carver’s specific influence. There is a whole group of short story writers who emerged around the same time as him, and who share certain broad similarities: Tobias Wolff, Bobbie Ann Mason and AnnBeattie all use an austere, melancholic naturalism, tinged with the grotesque, that owes something to Anderson’s successors – early Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, Faulkner. In the ...

Bunny Hell

Christopher Tayler: David Gates

26 August 2015
A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me 
by David Gates.
Serpent’s Tail, 314 pp., £12.99, August 2015, 978 1 78125 491 2
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Jernigan 
by David Gates.
Serpent’s Tail, 339 pp., £8.99, August 2015, 978 1 78125 490 5
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... a career that must have felt, from time to time, unlikely to get started at all. He was 44 when Jernigan came out and had last been in proximity to book-world fame in the 1970s, when his then wife, AnnBeattie, was routinely described as the voice of their generation on the strength of the stories she was publishing in the New Yorker. (It was Gates who suggested calling her first novel, published ...

Reconstruction

Christopher Beha: Jeffrey Eugenides

6 October 2011
The Marriage Plot 
by Jeffrey Eugenides.
Fourth Estate, 406 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 00 744129 7
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... fault with modern Systems.’ But ‘I didn’t particularly like the writers in my modern canon … I craved academic and hipster respect of the kind that Pynchon and Gaddis got and Saul Bellow and AnnBeattie didn’t. But Bellow and Beattie, not to mention Dickens and Conrad and Brontë and Dostoevsky and Christina Stead, were the writers I actually, unhiply enjoyed reading.’ More and more ...
2 February 1984
The Oxford Companion to American Literature 
by James Hart.
Oxford, 896 pp., £27.50, November 1983, 0 19 503074 5
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The Modern American Novel 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Oxford, 209 pp., £9.95, April 1983, 0 19 212591 5
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The Literature of the United States 
by Marshall Walker.
Macmillan, 236 pp., £14, November 1983, 0 333 32298 3
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American Fictions 1940-1980: A Comprehensive History and Critical Valuation 
by Frederick Karl.
Harper and Row, 637 pp., £31.50, February 1984, 0 06 014939 6
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Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 919 pp., £21, January 1984, 0 233 97610 8
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... born when this book was first begun’, it offers abbreviated commentaries on such newly arrived figures on the scene as Diane Wakoski (1937-; cited here as ‘Wakowski’), Annie Dillard (1945-) and AnnBeattie (1947-). Heavy in the hand, the Companion makes for pretty light reading: Joan Didion is helpfully described as the author of ‘nonfictional works on contemporary life’; the ‘Beat ...

Purple Days

Mark Ford

12 May 1994
The Pugilist at Rest 
by Thom Jones.
Faber, 230 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 571 17134 6
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The Sorrow of War 
by Bao Ninh, translated by Frank Palmos.
Secker, 217 pp., £8.99, January 1994, 0 436 31042 2
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A Good Scent from Strange Mountain 
by Robert Olen Butler.
Minerva, 249 pp., £5.99, November 1993, 0 7493 9767 5
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Out of the Sixties: Storytelling and the Vietnam Generation 
by David Wyatt.
Cambridge, 230 pp., £35, February 1994, 9780521441513
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... participation in the conflict: ‘Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam, we’ve all been there.’ The extent of the war’s impact on Wyatt’s other chosen artists, particularly Sue Miller, Ethan Mordden and AnnBeattie, is much harder to determine. Out of the Sixties suffers from the lack of any clear-cut thesis capable of binding such disparate figures together, beyond some pretty routine claims for their ...

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