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Charmed Lives

Patrick Parrinder, 23 April 1987

Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew: An Italian Story 
by Dan Vittorio Segre.
Peter Halban, 273 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 1 870015 00 2
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To the Land of the Reeds 
by Aharon Appelfeld, translated by Jeffrey Green.
Weidenfeld, 148 pp., £9.95, February 1987, 0 297 78972 4
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by Daphne Merkin.
Hamish Hamilton, 288 pp., £10.95, March 1987, 0 241 12113 2
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by Umberto Saba, translated by Mark Thompson.
Carcanet, 166 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 0 85635 559 3
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... The English title of Dan Vittorio Segre’s Storia di un Ebreo Fortunato, Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew, has complex resonances. If, as Frank Kermode has recently remarked in this paper, memoirs and confessions are still to some extent separate genres, then it may be said that a conviction of his own good fortune is the distinguishing mark of the memoirist ...

Cartoon Quality

Zachary Leader, 6 December 1979

Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright 
by Steven Millhauser.
Routledge, 305 pp., £4.95
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A Prize Paradise 
by Oliver Pritchett.
Eyre Methuen, 171 pp., £4.95
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A Revenger’s Comedy 
by Derwent May.
Chatto, 191 pp., £5.95
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... author of Cartoons, a novel, we are told, of genius. It is also that of Edwin’s biographer, Jeffrey, a mere half-year older, whose exhaustively solemn record of his lifelong friend’s minutest peculiarities and achievements continually draws attention away from its subject. This tension between subject and biographer is central to the novel, and has ...

It all fell apart

Abigail Green: Pogroms in Ukraine, 21 July 2022

In the Midst of Civilised Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-21 and the Onset of the Holocaust 
by Jeffrey Veidlinger.
Picador, 480 pp., £30, November 2021, 978 1 5098 6744 8
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... to his friend Ludwig Frankl in Vienna, ‘rather the death of Ugolino [by starvation].’ For Jeffrey Veidlinger, it came when he found a memorial book commemorating ‘the memory of the holy souls who perished during the terrible slaughter that befell the Jews of Proskuriv’. The book’s iconography is indeed eerily familiar: Hebrew lettering framed by ...


V.G. Kiernan, 18 September 1986

What’s happening to India: Punjab, Ethnic Conflict, Mrs Gandhi’s Death and the Test for Federalism 
by Robin Jeffrey.
Macmillan, 249 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 333 40440 8
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Lions of the Punjab: Culture in the Making 
by Richard Fox.
California, 259 pp., £25.50, January 1986, 0 520 05491 1
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... new province of Haryana. This still left a large minority of Hindus in the remaining Punjab. Dr Jeffrey dwells on the Punjabi cult of machismo and taste for violence, and of widespread possession of home-made and other firearms. History’s legacy of a warlike spirit has been at times heroic, often a nuisance. The shock of the 1947 bloodshed and forced ...
The Journalist and the Murderer 
by Janet Malcolm.
Bloomsbury, 163 pp., £12.99, January 1991, 0 7475 0759 7
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... of the ethical issues supposedly arising from the MacDonald-McGinniss case in the United States. Jeffrey MacDonald was a Green Beret doctor who was found guilty of murdering his wife and children. Joe McGinniss is a journalist who, shortly before MacDonald’s trial in 1979, signed a contract to write a book about the ...

Emotional Sushi

Ian Sansom: Tony, Nick and Simon, 9 August 2001

One for My Baby 
by Tony Parsons.
HarperCollins, 330 pp., £15.99, July 2001, 0 00 226182 0
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How to Be Good 
by Nick Hornby.
Viking, 256 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 670 88823 0
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Little Green Man 
by Simon Armitage.
Viking, 246 pp., £12.99, August 2001, 0 670 89442 7
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... beauty’. In Man and Boy Cyd and Harry attended an awards ceremony where Cyd wore ‘a green cheongsam in Chinese silk – high-necked, tight as a second skin, the greatest dress I have ever seen in my life’. In One for My Baby Jackie and Alfie attend a dinner party, where Jackie wears ‘some western designer’s idea of a cheongsam. It’s ...


John Sutherland, 19 August 1982

A Prodigal Child 
by David Storey.
Cape, 319 pp., £7.50, June 1982, 0 224 02027 7
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The Prodigal Daughter 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 447 pp., £7.95, July 1982, 0 340 27687 8
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by John Stonehouse.
Cape, 318 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 224 02019 6
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The Man from St Petersburg 
by Ken Follett.
Hamish Hamilton, 292 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 241 10783 0
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The Patriot Game 
by George Higgins.
Secker, 237 pp., £7.50, July 1982, 0 436 19589 5
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... than reading. Titles and general category apart, there is little to link A Prodigal Child with Jeffrey Archer’s blockbusting latest, The Prodigal Daughter (number 1 on the New York Times best-seller list as I write). Thematically, it carries on Archer’s fascinated depiction of success, as measured in supreme political office and millions. More ...
... Hebrew – the heart of the discussion. Aharon’s answers to my questions have been translated by Jeffrey Green. PR: I find echoes in your fiction of two Middle European writers of a previous generation: Bruno Schulz, the Polish Jew who wrote in Polish and was shot and killed at 50 by the Nazis in Drogobych, the heavily Jewish Galician city where he ...

Confidence and Supply

Stephen Sedley: Confidence and Supply, 14 December 2017

... possible revision, ‘for the length of the Parliament’. It is signed by Gavin Williamson MP and Jeffrey Donaldson MP on behalf of the two parties. In brief, it provides that in return for the DUP’s support on all significant parliamentary measures, including those relating to Brexit, Northern Ireland will receive ‘additional support’ in the form ...

Ages of the Train

Christopher Driver, 8 January 1987

The Railway Station: A Social History 
by Jeffrey Richards and John MacKenzie.
Oxford, 440 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 19 215876 7
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The Railways of Britain: A Journey through History 
by Jack Simmons.
Macmillan, 255 pp., £15.95, May 1986, 0 333 40766 0
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... no time-table for love? And it comes with no bell and no signal ... For the trains there are green signals waiting. The trains set off on long wanderings; only you, beloved, stay here, and depart with me for the commotion of stations ... How different from the wistful inexperience confided to me the same year by a woman in Berkeley: ‘I have never been ...

The Call of Wittenham Clumps

Samuel Hynes, 2 April 1981

Paul Nash 
by Andrew Causey.
Oxford, 511 pp., £35, June 1980, 0 19 817348 2
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The Enemy 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Routledge, 391 pp., £15, July 1980, 0 7100 0514 8
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Wyndham Lewis: A Revaluation 
edited by Jeffrey Meyers.
Athlone, 276 pp., £13.50, May 1980, 0 485 11193 4
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Wyndham lewis 
by Jane Farrington.
Lund Humphries, 128 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 85331 434 9
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... The rain drives on, the stinking mud becomes more evilly yellow, the shell holes fill up with green-white water, the roads and tracks are covered in inches of slime, the black dying trees ooze and sweat and the shells never cease.’ This is a landscape painting in words, but it is also a kind of anti-landscape, as though the war, truly seen, had ...

Out of the Eater

Jeremy Noel-Tod: Thom Gunn, 6 July 2000

Boss Cupid 
by Thom Gunn.
Faber, 115 pp., £7.99, March 2000, 0 571 20298 5
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... mortal nation/From lords to villagers in their fading dyes’, going on to consider the pagan ‘Green Men’ lurking in old churches and cathedrals:          But carved on a high beam Far in the vault from the official version Gape gnarled unChristian heads out of                         whom stream    Long stems of ...
Once a Jolly Bagman: Memoirs 
by Alistair McAlpine.
Weidenfeld, 269 pp., £20, March 1997, 9780297817376
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... as a semi house-trained polecat. The army of rats has now been joined by Lord McAlpine of West Green, Thatcher’s ‘jolly bagman’, as he calls himself. Margaret Thatcher’s affection for the British construction industry was legendary. She loved the world of quick profits from government contracts, and for all her much-hyped commitment to hard work ...

Here/Not Here

Wendy Steiner, 4 July 1996

... scar. How can the celebrity outsider maintain a sense of his identity, or painterly authority, when he is his own subject-matter and his audience sees that subject-matter as ‘other’, less than ‘us’? Basquiat’s solutions to this dilemma are often brilliant. In the triptych Zydeco (1984), for example, a cinematographer in profile looks through the lens of his movie camera ...

Pissing on Pedestrians

Owen Bennett-Jones: A Great Unravelling, 1 April 2021

Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell 
by John Preston.
Viking, 322 pp., £18.99, February, 978 0 241 38867 9
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... order to recruit Soviet scientists? Was he a KGB asset? Did he have a financial relationship with Jeffrey Epstein? ‘He has done more for Israel than can be said here today,’ Yitzhak Shamir said at his funeral. Was that a reference to his helping Jews escape the communist bloc or to the help he gave Israel over the kidnapping of the nuclear whistleblower ...

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