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Katha Pollitt, 21 March 1996

Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness 
by Elaine Tyler May.
Basic Books, 318 pp., $24, June 1995, 0 465 00609 4
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Mothers in Law: Feminist Theory and the Legal Regulation of Motherhood 
edited by Martha Albertson Fineman and Isabel Karpin.
Columbia, 398 pp., £12.95, June 1995, 9780231096812
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What about Us? An Open Letter to the Mothers Feminism Forgot 
by Maureen Freely.
Bloomsbury, 224 pp., £15.99, October 1995, 0 7475 2304 5
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Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies and Bargaining Power 
by Rhona Mahony.
Basic Books, 277 pp., $23, June 1995, 0 465 08594 6
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... cannot negotiate the equal sharing of childcare and domestic chores, what hope for the rest of us? Maureen Freely, the American-born novelist and columnist who lives in England, touches on women’s double day in What about Us? An Open Letter to the Mothers Feminism Forgot, but mostly to blame it on, of all people, feminists. In her view, feminists hate ...

A Turk, a Turk, a Turk

Christopher Tayler: Orhan Pamuk, 5 August 2004

by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely.
Faber, 436 pp., £12.99, May 2004, 0 571 22065 7
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... middle class)’. Many of the characters in Snow come in for fairly withering scrutiny, but – as Maureen Freely, the novel’s translator, put it in her review of the Turkish edition – those who come out worst are the ‘bourgeois intellectuals who are just passing through’. These include the book’s narrator, a novelist called ...

Wanting to Be Something Else

Adam Shatz: Orhan Pamuk, 7 January 2010

The Museum of Innocence 
by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely.
Faber, 720 pp., £18.99, December 2009, 978 0 571 23700 5
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... writes in the Esperanto of international literary fiction, employing a playful postmodernism that freely mixes genres, from detective fiction to historical romance. Much of Pamuk’s fiction reads like a homage to his Western models: Mann, Faulkner, Borges, Joyce, Dostoevsky, Proust and – in The Museum of Innocence, the tale of a doomed, obsessional love ...

Shee Spy

Michael Dobson, 8 May 1997

The Secret Life of Aphra Behn 
by Janet Todd.
Deutsch, 545 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 233 98991 9
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... Twenty years ago, when Maureen Duffy first published The Passionate Shepherdess: Aphra Behn, 1640-89, Behn was still known principally as the celebrated but largely unread founder of women’s writing, the figure who had been hymned but effectively dismissed by Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own (1929). ‘All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds,’ Woolf wrote, only to declare Behn’s actual writings to be so much cheerful hack-work, of interest only as the hack-work of a woman ...

London Lefties

Paul Foot, 17 September 1987

If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it 
by Ken Livingstone.
Collins, 367 pp., £12, August 1987, 0 00 217770 6
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A Taste of Power: The Politics of Local Economics 
edited by Maureen Mackintosh and Hilary Wainwright.
Verso, 441 pp., £22.95, July 1987, 0 86091 174 8
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... of Labour, which transformed County Hall, for a brief moment, into a place where Londoners moved freely and felt at ease. In the arts, and especially with its festivals, Livingstone’s GLC proved that culture is not the monopoly of the upper classes. Still, the facts and the folklore are very far apart. Again and again, Livingstone’s book disintegrates ...

Babylon with Bananas

Michael Newton: Tarzan's best friend, 29 January 2009

Me Cheeta: The Autobiography 
by Cheeta.
Fourth Estate, 320 pp., £16.99, October 2008, 978 0 00 727863 3
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... The jungle is part idyll, part nightmare. Naturally envious perhaps, Cheeta downplays his rival Maureen O’Sullivan’s Art Deco sexiness. In those early films, she wears a costume so skimpy it keeps the viewer in a state of mild agitated expectation. As one roué visiting the jungle remarks, you keep believing you’ll see something more, but you never ...

Get over it!

Corey Robin: Antonin Scalia, 10 June 2010

American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia 
by Joan Biskupic.
Farrar, Straus, 434 pp., $28, November 2009, 978 0 374 20289 7
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... busy designing a constitution for a country I do not recognise.’ As the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd put it, ‘He’s so Old School, he’s Old Testament.’ Scalia certainly has not charmed his way to influence. As Joan Biskupic documents in American Original, he is much given to mocking his colleagues’ intelligence and questioning their ...

He blinks and night is day

Adam Mars-Jones: ‘Light Perpetual’, 17 June 2021

Light Perpetual 
by Francis Spufford.
Faber, 336 pp., £16.99, February, 978 0 571 33648 7
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... something Spufford is unlikely to want – if he did, he would have indulged the trope more freely. Alec’s father was ‘in the print’, and Alec follows him into the business. In one lovely, lucid page Spufford hymns the compositor’s trade. Alec joyfully immerses himself in the physicality of work, held in ‘a womb of mechanical noise, to be ...

Fallen Women

Patricia Highsmith, 21 June 1984

‘Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son’: The Story of Peter Sutcliffe 
by Gordon Burn.
Heinemann, 272 pp., £9.95, May 1984, 0 434 09827 2
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... dialogue. His material comes from interviews with Sutcliffe’s brothers, with his sisters Maureen and Jane, and his friends such as Keith Sugden and Trevor Birdsall. The result is that we come to know all these people as we might characters in a novel, and the book picks up a narrative current that keeps the reader turning the pages. Birdsall’s ...

Across the Tellyverse

Jenny Turner: Daleks v. Cybermen, 22 June 2006

Doctor Who 
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Doctor Who: A Critical Reading of the Series 
by Kim Newman.
BFI, 138 pp., £12, December 2005, 1 84457 090 8
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... future’ as one of ‘Martini media … available when and where you want it, with content moving freely between different devices and platforms’. As well as the weekly Saturday teatime episode, new Doctor Who currently unfolds ‘officially’ on BBC3 repeats and spin-offs, webcasts and phone downloads, and – almost as soon as the broadcast is over ...

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