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All their dreaming’s done

James Francken: Janet Davey, 8 May 2003

English Correspondence 
by Janet Davey.
Chatto, 199 pp., £12.99, January 2003, 0 7011 7364 5
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... Forster’s first impression on reading Meredith, and for many this slight became the last word. Janet Davey’s poised novel of domestic love, with a company man from Berkshire as a central character, has a calculated smallness of scope. Jerry Dorney’s job, never specified, underwrites a life of ‘getting and spending’; there is the house ‘with ...

Cosmic Interference

Dinah Birch: Janet Davey’s Fiction, 8 October 2015

Another Mother’s Son 
by Janet Davey.
Chatto, 296 pp., £12.99, August 2015, 978 1 78474 022 1
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... Janet Davey​ ’s books scrutinise contemporary lives, but are reluctant to claim a guiding theme. They are more interested in the failures of intention. The tales they begin to tell meander and lose direction, refusing to crystallise into plot. Her central characters seem baffled by their own histories and motives, and unsettled by those of others ...


Duncan McLean: Frank Sargeson, 7 June 2018

... went to see An Angel at My Table, Jane Campion’s film about her fellow New Zealander, the writer Janet Frame. In the film we see Frame, played by Kerry Fox, recently released from a long spell in a mental hospital, given shelter and support by a white-goateed older writer called Frank Sargeson, played by Martyn Sanderson. She lives and types in his garden ...

His Bonnet Akimbo

Patrick Wright: Hamish Henderson, 3 November 2011

Hamish Henderson: A Biography. Vol. I: The Making of the Poet (1919-53) 
by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 416 pp., £14.99, May 2009, 978 1 84697 132 7
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Hamish Henderson: A Biography. Vol. II: Poetry Becomes People (1954-2002) 
by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 395 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 1 84697 063 4
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... preliminary tremors produced in anticipation of this volcanic biography. Henderson’s mother, Janet, had served as a nurse in the First World War, then returned to lose her own battle in Britain. Thirty-nine and unmarried, she became pregnant within weeks of the armistice, much to the horror of her well-off Dundee family. Neat penetrates the various ...

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