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When Men Started Doing It

Steven Shapin: At the Grill Station, 17 August 2006

Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany 
by Bill Buford.
Cape, 318 pp., £17.99, July 2006, 9780224071840
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... an annual food issue – was just short of a million in 2004. And now its former fiction editor Bill Buford has provided one of the most evocative testaments to our – and his – current obsession: Heat is a record of several years spent in willing servitude to some of the great chefs, and food artisans, of Manhattan and Italy. He wants to know what ...

Catching up with Sammy

John Lanchester, 21 November 1991

Among the Thugs 
by Bill Buford.
Secker, 317 pp., £14.99, October 1991, 0 436 07526 1
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A Strange Kind of Glory 
by Eamon Dunphy.
Heinemann, 396 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 9780434216161
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... who do that kind of thing are capable of doing. I have been calling these people ‘yobs’, but Bill Buford calls them ‘thugs’, and he has written an engrossing book about them – a book that is itself a yob anthology, that both describes and partakes of the yob atmosphere. Buford began to be interested in the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: 10,860 novels, 23 August 2001

... by Jim Crace before Rushdie’s Fury (they’ll both be published on the same day). In 1980, Bill Buford, then the magazine’s editor (he’s now fiction editor of the New Yorker), wrote a piece for Granta – included in Granta: The First 21 Years (Granta, £9.99) – called ‘The End of the English Novel’. He attacked the publishing industry ...

Lobsters do not have eyelashes!

Joanna Biggs: Nell Freudenberger, 8 February 2007

The Dissident 
by Nell Freudenberger.
Picador, 427 pp., £14.99, March 2007, 978 0 330 49343 7
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... of summer 2001. She had been interning there and, in true Cinderella style, had given her story to Bill Buford, who was then the fiction editor, and subsequently found herself at the centre of a bidding war for her as yet unwritten first book. Her apparently effortless ascent raised hackles: Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, talked of feeling ...

No One Leaves Her Place in Line

Jeremy Harding: Martha Gellhorn, 7 May 1998

... ten years of her life. I had fallen for the work long before I fell for the person. We met through Bill Buford, then the editor of Granta, who had also fallen for the writing. She and I were both contributors. By the time Buford made the introduction, I’d read whatever journalism I could find and roughly half the ...

Veering Wildly

Kirsty Gunn: Jayne Anne Phillips, 31 July 2014

Quiet Dell 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Cape, 445 pp., £18.99, April 2014, 978 0 224 09935 6
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... in the 1983 issue of Granta that introduced a new kind of writing from the US that the then editor Bill Buford labelled ‘dirty realism’, taking in Richard Ford, Raymond Carver, Bobbi Ann Mason and so on), has always belonged to her and her alone. ‘For me,’ she has written, this ‘no man’s land, a deeply specific isolation drenched in family ...


Tobias Jones: The Politics of Football, 7 May 1998

... fan as a political fantasy, tied up with right-wing programmes of criminal justice legislation. Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs – until recently the best-known book on hooliganism – is uniformly scorned by the new doubters. ‘Dear Bill,’ writes Bootsy Egan, Colin Ward’s pseudonym in his wonderful series of ...

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