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Palmers Greenery

Susannah Clapp, 19 December 1985

Stevie 
by Jack Barbera and William McBrien.
Heinemann, 378 pp., £15, November 1985, 0 434 44105 8
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... a foot-on-the-ground person, this book will be for you a desert of weariness and exasperation.’ Jack Barbera and William McBrien approach their subject with generous and indiscriminate zeal. They have talked to a great many people, waded through an enormous amount of newsprint, and found everything interesting: the fact that Stevie Smith once came ...

Waving

Anthony Thwaite, 27 October 1988

Stevie Smith: A Critical Biography 
by Frances Spalding.
Faber, 331 pp., £15, October 1988, 0 571 15207 4
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... poems and her nature cropped so that she might be plausibly rendered on stage and screen by Glenda Jackson’. I can see Ricks’s objections to Hugh Whitemore’s film Stevie without entirely sharing them. When Whitemore wrote to me, telling me of his project and asking whether I had anything to contribute, I found the whole notion so unlikely that I ...

Jerusalem

Penelope Fitzgerald, 3 December 1981

Me Again: Uncollected Writings of Stevie Smith 
edited by Jack Barbera and William McBrien.
Virago, 359 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 9780860682172
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... only admire the courage of the joint venture. Not only are they collaborating at long distance (Barbera at the University of Mississippi, McBrien at Hofstra NY), so that they can only meet to compare notes twice a year, but, as neither of them ever met Stevie, they are getting to know her by running the documentary film about her life over and over ...

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