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David Thomson: LA Rhapsody, 27 January 2022

Always Crashing in the Same Car: On Art, Crisis and Los Angeles, California 
by Matthew Specktor.
Tin House, 378 pp., $17.95, July 2021, 978 1 951142 62 9
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... waiting for a meditation on Tuesday Weld, let alone Eleanor Perry, Carole Eastman, Warren Zevon or Renata Adler. These are figures from our cultural past, but they are also characters, bystanders, torn posters looking down on Matthew Specktor’s family circle. His book is in some ways a work of critical commentary, as mind-expanding as a perfect peach ...

Not Enough Delilahs

Andrew O’Hagan: Lillian Ross, 4 July 2019

by Lillian Ross.
NYRB, 219 pp., £14.99, June 2019, 978 1 68137 315 7
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... offer a defining word after each name:Gloria Steinem – phoneyJanet Malcolm – pretentiousRenata Adler – crackpotSusan Sontag – nobodyNora Ephron – liarOther hand:Kenneth Tynan – creepTruman Capote – leechGeorge Plimpton – slickTom Wolfe – talentlessPhilip Roth – jerkIt was a mercy she only had two hands. To be fair, there were some men she ...

Star Turn

Peter Campbell, 2 August 1984

Pitch Dark 
by Renata Adler.
Hamish Hamilton, 144 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 9780241113134
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... or part of her running from or to Jake. Has she, on the other hand, any thoughts of which Adler would say: ‘That is how Kate thinks, I of course differ’? The book seems too clever for that. Kate’s paragraphs have not been filed down to fit her character. It is as though Becky Sharp had become Thackeray, cut the puppet strings, and taken over the ...


Inigo Thomas: Michael Wolff’s Book Party, 8 February 2018

... much. Wine, whisky, water. Steve Bannon wasn’t at Wolff’s party, though he had been invited. Renata Adler was there, and Lorin Stein. Ann Coulter was there too – I had once been her editor when she was a columnist for George magazine. I ran into other people I had known in a New York life twenty years ago, not expecting to see them. Stephen ...

Predatory Sex Aliens

Gary Indiana: Burroughs, 8 May 2014

Call Me Burroughs: A Life 
by Barry Miles.
Twelve, 718 pp., £17, January 2014, 978 1 4555 1195 2
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... something original with the novel form in his wake – John Hawkes, Rudolph Wurlitzer, Renata Adler, Lynne Tillman, Kathy Acker, Bret Easton Ellis and Tao Lin come to mind – but innovative narrative fiction has enjoyed far greater support from publishers and readers in Europe. The bulk of published American fiction consists of ...


Marilyn Butler, 22 January 1981

Three-Quarter Face 
by Penelope Gilliatt.
Secker, 295 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 9780436179587
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Show People 
by Kenneth Tynan.
Weidenfeld, 317 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 297 77842 0
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When the lights go down 
by Pauline Kael.
Boyars, 592 pp., £8.95, August 1980, 0 7145 2726 2
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... envy comes high on the list, and in the eyes of rival practitioners nothing fails like success. Renata Adler, yet another writer for the New Yorker, has produced a splenetic review of Kael’s book for the New York Review of Books. She even paid Kael the presumably unintentional compliment of seeming to echo some of her most familiar ...

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