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In a Tuft of Thistle

Robert Crawford: Borges is Coming, 16 December 2021

Borges and Me: An Encounter 
by Jay Parini.
Canongate, 299 pp., £14.99, August, 978 1 83885 022 7
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... in Old English.None of these accounts mentions a gauche, anxiety-ridden young American called Jay Parini. In 1971 Parini, a wannabe poet in flight from the call-up to Vietnam, in search of love and eager for literary mentorship, was beginning a PhD at St Andrews on the laconic Orcadian writer George Mackay ...

All of Denmark was at his feet

John Sutherland, 12 May 1994

John Steinbeck: A Biography 
by Jay Parini.
Heinemann, 605 pp., £20, March 1994, 0 434 57492 9
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... nobody gets kissed’. Twenty-five years after his death he receives a big wet one in the shape of Jay Parini’s biography, which comes with much fanfare designed to rehabilitate him as one of America’s great writers. A handsome ‘Steinbeck award’ has been set up by the writer’s widow; a South Bank Show has been tied in; ‘a year-long marketing ...

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