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Deity with Fairy Wings

Emily Witt: Girlhood

7 September 2016
The Girls 
by Emma Cline.
Chatto, 355 pp., £12.99, June 2016, 978 1 78474 044 3
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... Early on​ in EmmaCline’s novel The Girls, the sound of intruders wakens a middle-aged woman sleeping alone in a borrowed house. The woman is Evie Boyd, who survived a summer hanging around a Manson-like cult in 1969 ...

Always the Bridesmaid

Terry Castle: Sappho

30 September 1999
Victorian Sappho 
by Yopie Prins.
Princeton, 278 pp., £40, May 1999, 0 691 05918 7
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... she models is merely the accumulated effect of countless lyric misreadings and mistranslations. I think I understand this: if I’ve got it right, it’s rather like listening to a recording of Patsy Cline singing ‘I Fall to Pieces’. Even though Cline died in a plane crash nearly forty years ago, to hear her sing about falling to pieces (‘each time I see you walk by’) is to experience the ...

Sleepwalker on a Windowledge

Adam Mars-Jones: Carmen Maria Machado

7 March 2019
Her Body & Other Parties 
by Carmen Maria Machado.
Serpent’s Tail, 245 pp., £8.99, January, 978 1 78125 953 5
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... pink thunderpuff, the Bella series, the one the colour of bees. Mermaid cuts in salt-flat white; trumpet-style in algae red; princess gowns in liver purple. The Ophelia, which looks perpetually wet. Emma Wants a Second Chance, the exact shade of a doe standing in a shadow. The Banshee, with its strategically shredded, milk-coloured silk.In ‘Mothers’ the lushly embroidered passage restages The ...

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