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Jeremy Harding: On the Tyson Saga, 31 August 1989

... is better represented by Tyson’s antithesis, the great Sugar Ray Leonard, who, in the words of Joyce CarolOates, can sometimes box like ‘a yuppie lawyer’. Despite the fierce intelligence which Tyson brings to the ring, he is a cruder proposition. The sense we make of him will depend on his performance over the ...

Mid-Century Male

Christopher Glazek: Edmund White, 19 July 2012

Jack Holmes and His Friend 
by Edmund White.
Bloomsbury, 390 pp., £18.99, January 2012, 978 1 4088 0579 4
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... obfuscations and Proust’s longueurs to join dependable storytellers like Robert Stone and Joyce CarolOates. He got mugged by realism. He realised that Elizabeth Bowen is just as good as Virginia Woolf but without the ‘affected prose style’, and that the selling of high art is ‘just one more form of ...

I wish she’d been a dog

Elaine Showalter, 7 February 1991

Jean Stafford: The Savage Heart 
by Charlotte Margolis Goodman.
Texas, 394 pp., $24.95, May 1990, 0 292 74022 0
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Jean Stafford: A Biography 
by David Roberts.
Chatto, 494 pp., £16.95, August 1988, 0 7011 3010 5
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... and wasted life. Indeed, in a celebrated review of the book in the New York Times Book Review, Joyce CarolOates linked it with a genre she named ‘pathography’, whose ‘motifs are dysfunction and disaster, illnesses and pratfalls, failed marriages and failed careers, alcoholism and breakdowns and outrageous ...

Get a Real Degree

Elif Batuman, 23 September 2010

The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing 
by Mark McGurl.
Harvard, 480 pp., £25.95, April 2009, 978 0 674 03319 1
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... Morrison, Sandra Cisneros) and ‘lower-middle-class modernism’ (Raymond Carver, Joyce CarolOates), with Venn diagrams illustrating the overlap between these groups, and their polarisation by aesthetic sub-tendencies such as maximalism and minimalism. Despite his professed indifference to the pro-con ...

The View from the Passenger Seat

Lorna Sage: Gilbert Adair, 1 January 1998

The Key of the Tower 
by Gilbert Adair.
Secker, 190 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 0 436 20429 0
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... un-American accent, and reinvented as an estrangement. John Updike is a self-confessed fan, but Joyce CarolOates, who is not, has also conducted a wonderfully ingenious argument with Nabokov in several novels including The Childwold in 1976 and her Chappaquiddick novella, Black Water, in 1992, where the question of ...

Into Thin Air

Marina Warner: Science at the Séances, 3 October 2002

The Invention of Telepathy 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Oxford, 334 pp., £35, June 2002, 0 19 924962 8
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... personalities, ideas of possession and altered states in work by writers from Margaret Atwood to Joyce CarolOates to Stephen King. The alliance of entertainment media with magic, telepathy and possession grows ever stronger, in writing for children, in television programmes – even the Teletubbies are psychic ...

Ready to Rumble

John Upton, 16 March 2000

King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero 
by David Remnick.
Picador, 326 pp., £14.99, October 1999, 0 330 37188 6
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Muhammad Ali: Ringside 
edited by John Miller and Aaron Kenedi.
Virgin, 128 pp., £14.99, September 1999, 1 85227 852 8
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... are the full hagiographic shilling, written by the usual suspects – Mailer, Alex Haley, Joyce CarolOates – but the pictures do manage to convey something of Ali’s tremendous physical presence. Take the picture on page 17. In it, Ali is wearing a white towelling dressing-gown and is baring his teeth, his ...


Daniel Soar: Benjamin Kunkel, 5 January 2006

by Benjamin Kunkel.
Picador, 241 pp., £12.99, November 2005, 0 330 44456 5
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... he is in the superficial events that surround him – is meant to be its representative. Perhaps Joyce CarolOates, whose comments appeared in the New York Review of Books and who has written some forty novels to Benjamin Kunkel’s one, has a peculiar idea of what constitutes inactivity. Dwight makes a big noise ...

Stifled Truth

Wyatt Mason: Tobias Wolff and fictions of the self, 5 February 2004

Old School 
by Tobias Wolff.
Bloomsbury, 195 pp., £12.99, February 2004, 0 7475 6948 7
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... Most were written by established names, among them Frank Conroy, Stuart Dybeck, Richard Ford, Joyce CarolOates, Robert Stone and Amy Tan. Those writers known partly for formal experimentation whose work Wolff did include (among them Lorrie Moore, Denis Johnson and Mary Robison) did not, in the stories Wolff ...

Somebody Shoot at Me!

Ian Sansom: Woody Guthrie’s Novel, 9 May 2013

House of Earth: A Novel 
by Woody Guthrie.
Fourth Estate, 234 pp., £14.99, February 2013, 978 0 00 750985 0
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... or scribbled on a steno pad, and often carelessly discarded. Guthrie, like, say, Balzac, Simenon, Joyce CarolOates, Bob Dylan, Richmal Crompton and Stephen King, was basically a writing machine, someone constantly in the process of noting, notating and composing. Born in Okemah, Oklahoma in 1912, Guthrie was brought ...

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