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Floating

Christopher Driver, 6 October 1983

Waterland 
by Graham Swift.
Heinemann, 310 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 434 75330 0
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Perfect Happiness 
by Penelope Lively.
Heinemann, 233 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 434 42740 3
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Scenes from Later Life 
by William Cooper.
Macmillan, 258 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 333 34204 6
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Summer at The Haven 
by Katharine Moore.
Allison and Busby, 158 pp., £6.95, April 1983, 0 85031 511 5
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... getting. Not that old age, whether as topic or circumstance, is any bar to the craft of fiction. Katharine Moore started Summer at The Haven when she began to feel overtaxed by travel to research libraries, and ‘her first adult novel’, as the publisher describes it, finds her aged 85. It is an account – imaginative, not reportorial – of a few ...

A Girl’s Best Friend

Thomas Jones: Tobias Hill, 21 August 2003

The Cryptographer 
by Tobias Hill.
Faber, 263 pp., £12, August 2003, 0 571 21836 9
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... lost in the 19th century. In The Love of Stones, the history of the Three Brethren is told by Katharine Sterne, a young woman who has devoted her adult life to hunting for the jewel. It’s hard to tell how much of what we learn about the Three Brethren is fact, and how much Hill has invented: a cursory Internet search turns up a portrait of John the ...

He could afford it

Jenny Diski, 7 April 1994

Howard Hughes: The Secret Life 
by Charles Higham.
Sidgwick, 368 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 9780283061578
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... in judgment and everybody gets their just deserts. You might think that a man whose lovers include Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power, Robert Ryan and Cary Grant must have had some kind of good time, but no one gets to have much fun in Higham’s book. Higham explains with ...

Gaelic Gloom

Colm Tóibín: Brian Moore, 10 August 2000

Brian MooreThe 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 ...

All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy, 8 April 2015

Hollywood 
by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... called the ‘culture industry’ – through Isherwood.) Those stars include Fred Astaire, Katharine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury, the much too pretty Teri Garr, the much too beautiful Warren Beatty, Julianne Moore (who also stars in the film A Single Man), Montgomery Clift (with rather more eyebrow than eyelashes), the ...

Seductress Extraordinaire

Terry Castle: The vampiric Mercedes de Acosta, 24 June 2004

‘That Furious Lesbian’: The Story of Mercedes de Acosta 
by Robert Schanke.
Southern Illinois, 210 pp., £16.95, June 2004, 0 8093 2579 9
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Women in Turmoil: Six Plays 
by Mercedes de Acosta, edited by Robert Schanke.
Southern Illinois, 252 pp., £26.95, June 2003, 0 8093 2509 8
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... the sapphic world of her time: from Isadora Duncan, Alla Nazimova, Pola Negri, Tamara Karsavina, Katharine Cornell, Marie Laurencin, Michael Strange and Eva Le Gallienne in the 1920s and 1930s to Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Hope Williams, Libby Holman, Ona Munson (Belle Watling in Gone with the Wind), Poppy Kirk (a Schiaparelli model and prominent ...

For Australians only

Jill Roe, 18 February 1988

... encouraging George to do likewise. Primrose finally prefers an idealistic young doctor called Greg Moore to the Hon. Ninian Skimpose Blaise, a ‘Silver Churn that made all others look like cast iron’. To make matters even worse, a great sorting-out of the next generation occurs, leaving Audrey high and dry. Aunt Lucy’s son and heir, Little Willie, becomes ...

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