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Household Sounds

Michael Irwin, 22 November 1979

The Old Jest 
by Jennifer Johnston.
Hamish Hamilton, 167 pp., £4.95
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The Goosefeather Bed 
by Diana Melly.
Duckworth, 139 pp., £5.95
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The Snow Man 
by Valerie Kershaw.
Duckworth, 159 pp., £5.95
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Spring Sonata 
by Bernice Rubens.
W.H. Allen, 215 pp., £4.94
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... mind, a myriad eyes on myriad worlds.’ Spring Sonata is an odd, fantastical work. The author, Bernice Rubens, gambles on bringing to life an extravagant allegory. For me the result is a brave but resounding failure, though from time to time I glimpse the potentialities of the idea. The hero, Buster, is an embryo in the womb of Sheila Rosen, a ...

A Messiah in the Family

Walter Nash, 8 February 1990

Kingdom come 
by Bernice Rubens.
Hamish Hamilton, 312 pp., £12.99, February 1990, 0 241 12481 6
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The Other Side 
by Mary Gordon.
Bloomsbury, 337 pp., £13.99, January 1990, 0 7475 0473 3
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The Alchemist 
by Mark Illis.
Bloomsbury, 244 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7475 0468 7
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The way you tell them: A Yarn of the Nineties 
by Alan Brownjohn.
Deutsch, 145 pp., £11.95, January 1990, 0 233 98496 8
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... Messiah, an important figure in the history of Judaism, I must confess to knowing nothing until Bernice Rubens captured my interest in the remarkable existence and rum doings of one Sabbatai Zvi, holy roller, profligate, manic-depressive, loving son, passionate friend, a light never quite to lighten the gentiles, but certainly a light of a fitful and ...

Fouling the nest

Anthony Julius, 8 April 1993

Modern British Jewry 
by Geoffrey Alderman.
Oxford, 397 pp., £40, September 1992, 0 19 820145 1
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... and art. One finds no mention of Feinstein, Jacobson, Abse, Silkin, Litvinoff, Josipovici or Bernice Rubens; no mention of Bomberg, Kotiliansky or Kitaj. Alderman thinks an adequate account of Isaac Rosenberg is to give the dates of his birth and death. There is no pride in the achievements of Anglo-Jewry; there is not even any curiosity: ‘it was ...


Jenny Diski: Happiness, 23 September 2010

... the other people on the panel just blinked at me and moved swiftly on. I recall, too, the novelist Bernice Rubens saying in an interview that she would rather never have written a word than have split up with her husband. This distressed me on the grounds of both literature and love. It’s absolutely true that writing a book doesn’t make you happy ...

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