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Fatalism

Graham Hough, 16 July 1981

A Start in Life 
by Anita Brookner.
Cape, 176 pp., £5.95, May 1981, 9780224018999
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Rhine Journey 
by Ann Schlee.
Macmillan, 165 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 333 28320 1
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The Sure Salvation 
by John Hearne.
Faber, 224 pp., £6.50, May 1981, 0 571 11670 1
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Beloved Latitudes 
by David Pownall.
Gollancz, 140 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 575 02988 9
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... At the end of David Pownall’s book the protagonist and his confidant are shot. At the end of John Hearne’s the leading characters have been respectively drowned, decapitated and disembowelled, and the hero is about to be hanged. Ann Schlee’s story ends with her heroine renouncing a fantasy and going to live in a cottage by herself, having made a ...

Answering back

James Campbell, 11 July 1991

The Intended 
by David Dabydeen.
Secker, 246 pp., £13.99, February 1991, 0 436 20007 4
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Cambridge 
by Caryl Phillips.
Bloomsbury, 185 pp., £13.99, March 1991, 0 7475 0886 0
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Lucy 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Cape, 176 pp., £11.99, April 1991, 0 224 03055 8
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... only really switched on the power in the 1950s. Novelists such as George Lamming, Samuel Selvon, John Hearne, Andrew Salkey and V.S. Naipaul were among the first voices from the outposts of Empire to talk back. Not for them ‘clapping his hands and stamping his feet’ in order to communicate, like Conrad’s fireman (‘and he had filed ...

Gaelic Gloom

Colm Tóibín: Brian Moore, 10 August 2000

Brian Moore: The Chameleon Novelist 
by Denis Sampson.
Marino, 344 pp., IR£20, October 1998, 1 86023 078 4
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... In the second chapter of Brian Moore’s first novel The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, Miss Hearne gets to know her fellow boarders, especially the landlady’s brother, the returned Yank, Mr Madden. They discuss the difference between men and women in Ireland and America. ‘Guys beating their brains out to keep their wives in mink,’ Mr Madden complains ...

Proudly Reptilian

Nicole Flattery: Kevin Barry, 12 September 2019

Night Boat to Tangier 
by Kevin Barry.
Canongate, 224 pp., £14.99, June 2019, 978 1 78211 617 2
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... you out of this fantasy is the first line of dialogue, delivered matter-of-factly by the farmer, John, to his wife: ‘Mary? I’ll ask you again. How many times did you come?’ This isn’t your average farm but a site of adultery, fecklessness, vice. This is a Kevin Barry short story because it could only be a Kevin Barry short story. There Are Little ...

A Pickwick among Poets, Exiled in the Fatherland of Pickled Fish

Colin Burrow: British Latin verse, 19 August 1999

The English Horace: Anthony Alsop and the Traditions of British Latin Verse 
by D.K. Money.
Oxford, 406 pp., £38, December 1998, 0 19 726184 1
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... Lost by William Hogg, the versions of Spenser’s Shepeardes Calender by Theodore Bathurst and John Dove (both of which experiment vigorously with Latin metrical form), the stately Latin transformation of Absalom and Achitophel by Francis Atterbury. David Money’s learned book seeks to rescue one exponent of this cliqueish art-form from the dust-heap. His ...

What did she do with those beds?

Thomas Keymer: Eliza Haywood, 3 January 2013

A Political Biography of Eliza Haywood 
by Kathryn King.
Pickering and Chatto, 288 pp., £60, June 2012, 978 1 85196 917 3
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... literary pirate and pornographer, assumed that Pope had an obscure imitator of Haywood called Mary Hearne in mind. But there was no mistaking Pope’s jeering vision of ‘Eliza’ a few lines earlier: ‘Two babes of love close clinging to her waste’. Here Haywood’s monstrous, bovine fecundity has a double aspect. Flaunting the babes, she’s scandalously ...

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