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Me and Thee

Justine Jordan: Jayne Anne Phillips

22 February 2001
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Cape, 292 pp., £15.99, September 2000, 0 224 05975 0
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... Everything happens at once’ in the year charted by JayneAnnePhillips in MotherKind – her heroine Kate becomes and loses a mother. The book records tiny actions and reactions: Kate changes baby Tatie’s nappy and her mother’s sickroom flowers, spoonfeeds mashed-up ...

Veering Wildly

Kirsty Gunn: Jayne Anne Phillips

30 July 2014
Quiet Dell 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Cape, 445 pp., £18.99, April 2014, 978 0 224 09935 6
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... to match outcome with expectation. Less known here than in the US, where she’s gathered up all sorts of prizes for stories that Raymond Carver described as ‘unlike any in our literature’, JayneAnnePhillips has always written this way. Her writing territory, though recognisably American (she appeared in the 1983 issue of Granta that introduced a new kind of writing from the US that the ...

Doing something

Ahdaf Soueif

1 October 1987
Persian Nights 
by Diane Johnson.
Chatto, 352 pp., £10.95, July 1987, 0 7011 3234 5
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Smile, and Other Stories 
by Deborah Moggach.
Viking, 175 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 670 81658 2
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Fast Lanes 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Faber, 148 pp., £8.95, August 1987, 0 571 14924 3
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... held in her arms. The best thing about Deborah Moggach is the irony, the wit, of which she and her characters – in their dreadful situations – are capable. And this is where she most differs from JayneAnnePhillips, whose world is simply, lyrically sad. Fast Lanes inspired in me the same sort of feeling that I imagine Iran must have aroused in Diane Johnson. This is a foreign land, a land where ...

End of Story

Robert Taubman

20 November 1980
A Humument 
by Tom Phillips.
Thames and Hudson, 367 pp., £12, October 1980, 0 500 09146 3
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The Past 
by Neil Jordan.
Cape, 232 pp., £6.50, October 1980, 0 224 01845 0
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Black Tickets 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Allen Lane, 194 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7139 1354 1
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... Word and image’ meet in these pages more as they do in a comic strip – in particular, the comic strip as it has entered Pop Art – or as in the single words of type in a Cubist painting. Tom Phillips is a painter who has exhibited earlier versions of these pages as a form of Gesamtkunstwerk, with the Coleridgean aim of ‘keeping the greatest number of things suspended in a unity’. In the past ...


Nicholas Spice

7 February 1985
A Late Divorce 
by A.B. Yehoshua, translated by Hillel Halkin.
Harvill, 352 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 00 271448 5
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Machine Dreams 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Faber, 331 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 571 13398 3
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... antipodean to the one in which Yehoshua’s characters are trapped where shadows have sharp edges and every corner is lit by the bright sunlight of an Israeli spring. This other world is the world of JayneAnnePhillips’s Machine Dreams, a novel in which Yehuda and Naomi Kaminka would have been temperamentally much more at home. Like Yehoshua, Phillips shares out much of the responsibility for ...

Carry on Camping

Mary Hawthorne

6 April 1995
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Faber, 300 pp., £14.99, January 1995, 9780571144907
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... JayneAnnePhillips’s first novel of more than a decade ago, Machine Dreams, reconstructed the history of three generations of a single middle-class, small-town American family over the course of some fifty years ...

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