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8 January 1987
Hollywood Husbands 
by Jackie Collins.
Heinemann, 508 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 434 14090 2
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Letters from Hollywood 
by Michael Moorcock.
Harrap, 232 pp., £10.95, August 1986, 0 245 54379 1
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Rain or Shine: A Family Memoir 
by Cyra McFadden.
Secker, 178 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 436 27580 5
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... esque English band, tells him they’re thinking of naming their second album When it’s teatime on the prairie. To anyone with a penchant for romanticising the American frontier, I recommend taking CyraMcFadden’s slim, simple and extraordinarily sad memoir of her father and mother as a postgraduate course. Ms McFadden’s first book, The Serial, spun the hilariously gripping saga of Marin County ...

English Changing

Frank Kermode

7 February 1980
The State of the Language 
edited by Leonard Michaels and Christopher Ricks.
California, 609 pp., £14.95, January 1980, 0 520 03763 4
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... to speak, a new loss of life, and so contribute to the renovation of the language. Another professor, David Lodge, says a good word for the English spoken in Marin County, California, as recorded by CyraMcFadden in The Serial. Marin, a ‘high-energy trip with … happening people’, is near San Francisco, ‘the consciousness-raising capital of the western world’. Lodge is heavily into its slang ...

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