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Frown by Frown

Ian Hamilton, 3 July 1997

by R.S. Thomas.
Dent, 192 pp., £20, May 1997, 0 460 87639 2
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Furious Interiors: Wales, R.S. Thomas and God 
by Justin Wintle.
HarperCollins, 492 pp., £20, November 1996, 0 00 255571 9
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Collected Poems 1945-90 
by R.S. Thomas.
Phoenix, 548 pp., £9.99, September 1995, 1 85799 354 3
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... have been as non-definite as ours. According to Thomas’s eccentric but industrious biographer, Justin Wintle, a complete tally of the R.S. Thomas oeuvre would add up to some twelve hundred poems, not all of which appear in his 500-page Collected Poems. These figures come as a surprise. Thomas, after all, has never been thought of as abundant. Nor is ...

Personality Cults

Joshua Kurlantzick: Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese Crisis, 18 October 2007

Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi 
by Justin Wintle.
Hutchinson, 450 pp., £18.99, April 2007, 978 0 09 179651 8
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... bring to bear on Burma’s rulers. Most previous books on Suu Kyi were essentially hagiographies. Justin Wintle’s biography is a thorough study not only of Suu Kyi the symbol and martyr but of Suu Kyi the politician, a woman capable of transforming herself from the quiet wife of an Oxford don to a powerful political actor in one of the world’s most ...

Exasperating Classics

Patricia Craig, 23 May 1985

Secret Gardens 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Allen and Unwin, 235 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 04 809022 0
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Reading and Righting 
by Robert Leeson.
Collins, 256 pp., £6.95, March 1985, 9780001844131
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Pipers at the Gates of Dawn 
by Jonathan Cott.
Viking, 327 pp., £12.95, August 1984, 0 670 80003 1
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... a suitable recipient for this kind of comment; but even Dr Seuss, who told an earlier interviewer (Justin Wintle, quoted in The Pied Pipers, 1974), ‘The Elephant Bird symbolises no great “truth”. I was stuck for an ending and invented the Bird out of dire necessity,’ doesn’t jump on Cott, as you would expect, for reading moral and political ...

How confident should she be?

Richard Lloyd Parry: Aung San Suu Kyi, 26 April 2012

The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi 
by Peter Popham.
Rider, 446 pp., £20, November 2011, 978 1 84604 248 5
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... partisan and emotional, a welcome complement to the only other serious biography in English, Justin Wintle’s assiduously comprehensive Perfect Hostage. It contains fascinating new material and conveys, better than any other account, the stirring drama of her confrontations with the junta. But perhaps the most interesting thing about it is its ...

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