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I wouldn’t say I love Finland

Alexander Dziadosz: Love, Home, Country?, 24 March 2022

Voices of the Lost 
by Hoda Barakat, translated by Marilyn Booth.
Oneworld, 197 pp., £12.99, February 2021, 978 1 78607 722 6
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God 99 
by Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright.
Comma, 278 pp., £9.99, November 2020, 978 1 905583 77 5
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... Reuters in Cairo) keeps the ribaldry of these moments alive in his English translation. Likewise, Marilyn Booth captures the starkness of Voices of the Lost, in prose stripped of almost all sensory details and anchoring references. It isn’t surprising that two of the most interesting authors to write about the migrant crises of the last ten years were ...

Menswear

Philip Booth, 20 July 1995

Drag: A History of Female Impersonation in the Performing Arts 
by Roger Baker.
Cassell, 284 pp., £35, December 1994, 0 304 32836 7
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... as comfortable writing for the Times. His books include studies of those gay icons Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe, but he also published works on exorcism and Israel. Sometimes his work wore trousers, sometimes a frock. The first version of Drag appeared in 1968. Times have changed. Not only is popular culture now rich in images of cross-dressing, it has also ...

The Sage of Polygon Road

Claire Tomalin, 28 September 1989

The Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Vols I-VII 
edited by Janet Todd and Marilyn Butler.
Pickering & Chatto, 2530 pp., £245, August 1989, 1 85196 006 6
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... Just about everything she wrote after that is interesting, and often surprising. Her editors, Marilyn Butler and Janet Todd, have chosen to include all her known translations, her anthology The Female Reader, and her book reviews. This generosity does not work entirely in her favour. Elements of Morality, Young Grandison and the Reader have been hard to ...

National Treasure

Christopher Hitchens, 14 November 1996

Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir 
by John Davis.
Wiley, 256 pp., £14.99, October 1996, 0 471 12945 3
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... like the most abject stage-door Johnnies, and indeed Janes. The former First Lady sat in the main booth with her friends, looking serene and detached, while all sorts of people took their time collecting their hats or whatever, and rubbernecking shamelessly.What was this? It was more than fame and more than glamour. And it was a bit less than Edmund Burke’s ...

Afloat with Static

Jenny Turner: Hey, Blondie!, 19 December 2019

Face It 
by Debbie Harry.
HarperCollins, 352 pp., £20, October 2019, 978 0 00 822942 9
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... sweater’. She started experimenting with bleaching her hair at 14, partly to be like Marilyn Monroe: ‘I identified with her in ways I couldn’t easily articulate … long before I discovered that Marilyn had been a foster child.’Looks, and being looked at, became an issue very early on. The first flasher ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... written about their favourite critical subjects, such as Christopher Ricks on Tennyson or Marilyn Butler on Jane Austen. There are one or two notable absences among historians who have written principally on British topics – nothing from Linda Colley or Quentin Skinner, for example – and some of the best-known contemporary exponents of biography ...

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