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Homesickness

Eric Hobsbawm, 8 April 1993

Jews and the German State: The Political History of a Minority, 1848-1933 
by Peter Pulzer.
Blackwell, 370 pp., £35, March 1992, 0 631 17282 3
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The Jews of Germany: A Historical Portrait 
by Ruth Gay.
Yale, 336 pp., £19.95, September 1992, 0 300 05155 7
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... others, even if we count only those in what was to become the German Reich in 1871. Moreover, as Ruth Gay’s illuminating and copiously illustrated The Jews of Germany makes clear, even as it, too, overlooks Marx and Lassalle, German Jewry was overwhelmingly indigenous, even after the mass migration from the East began, and, with school ...

The Sea Will Do Us All Good

Ruth Padel, 4 December 2008

... Annie listless.’ They take her to Ramsgate    to try what seawater can do. On the beachhe picks up shells. He is still a collector. Emma    watches a bathing-woman in baggy bluecoax Annie to the caravan-machine    drawn by two horses out to sea; and thinks throughin her head a Beethoven sonata and cadenza.In autumn 1850 Darwin’s ten-year-old daughter Annie was ill ...

What women think about men

D.A.N. Jones, 5 February 1987

The Progress of Love 
by Alice Munro.
Chatto, 309 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 7011 3161 6
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Ruth 
by Jeremy Cooper.
Hutchinson, 187 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 09 167110 8
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... summer cottages by the shores of Lake Huron, plenty of comfortable, retired folk, a weaver and a gay dentist – its sunny bleakness exposed when Stella says: ‘It’s nice for us pensioned-off wives ... I’m writing my memoirs. I’ll stop for a cash payment.’ David remarks casually: ‘You know, there’s a smell women get. It’s when they know you ...

Roaming the Greenwood

Colm Tóibín: A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition by Gregory Woods, 21 January 1999

A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition 
by Gregory Woods.
Yale, 448 pp., £24.95, February 1998, 0 300 07201 5
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... devotion’. His essay was written around 1932, a long time before any clear view emerged of the gay writer’s place in literary tradition, and before the idea emerged that Irish, Jewish or gay (or, later, South American) writing was itself the centre rather than the periphery renewing the centre. Borges was, in many ...

Other Things

J.I.M. Stewart, 2 February 1984

Soor Hearts 
by Robert Alan Jamieson.
Paul Harris, 166 pp., £6.95, January 1984, 0 86228 072 9
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The Life and Loves of a She-Devil 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 240 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 9780340332283
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Cathedral 
by Raymond Carver.
Collins, 230 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 0 00 222790 8
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The Cannibal Galaxy 
by Cynthia Ozick.
Secker, 162 pp., £7.95, January 1984, 0 436 35483 7
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The Collected Works of Jane Bowles 
introduced by Truman Capote.
Peter Owen, 476 pp., £10.95, January 1984, 0 7206 0613 6
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Let it come down 
by Paul Bowles.
Peter Owen, 318 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 0 7206 0614 4
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... achievement as his art matures. The Life and Loves of a She-Devil also has arson in it. Ruth, who is six foot two inches tall and very plain, is displeased with her husband, Bobbo, because he has taken to going to bed with Mary, who is small and pretty and a successful writer of romantic fiction. Matters bubble up at a family dinner party: ‘Nicola ...

Short Cuts

Rosemary Hill: What Writers Wear, 27 July 2017

... Looks’, which include ‘Glasses’, ‘Hats’ and ‘Suits’, the latter bringing Gay Talese and T.S. Eliot into unlikely proximity. There are also pull quotes with such fun facts as that Jacqueline Susann’s ambition as a schoolgirl ‘was to own a mink coat’, and in the early 1970s Samuel Beckett used a ‘now classic leather Gucci hobo ...

Barbie Gets a Life

Lorna Scott Fox, 20 July 1995

Barbie’s Queer Accessories 
by Erica Rand.
Duke, 213 pp., £43.50, July 1995, 0 8223 1604 8
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The Art of Barbie: Artists Celebrate the World’s Favourite Doll 
edited by Craig Yoe.
Workman, 149 pp., £14.99, October 1994, 1 56305 751 4
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... Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (the straight woman in heavily-theorised white glasses who would rather be a gay man), Barbie’s Queer Accessories nonetheless keeps one foot high on the moral ground of traditional liberalism, obeying only half of Oscar Wilde’s First Rule of Camp: to ‘treat all the trivial things of life very seriously, and all the serious things of ...

Keeping Score

Ian Jackman: Joe DiMaggio, 10 May 2001

Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life 
by Richard Ben Cramer.
Simon and Schuster, 560 pp., £20, April 2001, 0 684 85391 4
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... records in the Pacific Coast League and the press seized on him as the next big thing. Babe Ruth, who was head and shoulders above anyone else in the game, had just retired. Before DiMaggio had played one inning of major league ball, a New York newspaperman had announced him as ‘the replacement for Babe Ruth’. The ...

Beatrix and Rosamond

Daniel Soar: Jonathan Coe, 18 October 2007

The Rain before It Falls 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 274 pp., £17.99, September 2007, 978 0 670 91728 0
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... that there is no narrative reason for Dorothy to be a dyke, and the idea is taken nowhere. She’s gay because it happens to be funnier that way, and it also happens to be serious, because a few pages later her inadequate husband kills both himself and a dying calf and Dorothy doesn’t give a damn. It happens, too, that there are a good number of dykey women ...

Never Mind the Bollocks

Hilary Rose and Steven Rose: Brains and Gender, 28 April 2011

Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences 
by Rebecca Jordan-Young.
Harvard, 394 pp., £25.95, September 2010, 978 0 674 05730 2
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... neoliberal economics than through neuroscience. Where, in this binary world, do intersex people, gay men, lesbians or transsexuals find a place? Their existence has long been a problem for essentialists – a problem solved culturally by pathologising them. Earlier versions of the American psychiatrists’ bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical ...

Miss Lachrymose

Liz Brown: Doris Day’s Performances, 11 September 2008

Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door 
by David Kaufman.
Virgin, 628 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 905264 30 8
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... virginity while name-checking Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Skip ahead to the 1990s when we – that gay ‘we’ – pored over film history for evidence that we’d been there all along. Most notably there was Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet, with its clip of Doris belting out her ‘Secret Love’, but also Mark Rappaport’s Rock Hudson’s Home ...

Brecht’s New Age

Margot Heinemann, 1 March 1984

Brecht in Context: Comparative Approaches 
by John Willett.
Methuen, 274 pp., £12.50, February 1984, 0 413 50410 7
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Brecht: A Biography 
by Ronald Hayman.
Weidenfeld, 423 pp., £18.50, September 1983, 0 297 78198 7
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... one finds his ‘ambivalence towards Weigel and the Jews’ to be taken from the memoirs of Ruth Berlau, not in her old age the most impartial of witnesses on the Brecht-Weigel relationship. Similarly, Brecht as a child was a coward and often a bully of younger boys – according (if you look it up) to his brother Walter, who a little later served as a ...

Outfoxing Hangman

Thomas Jones: David Mitchell, 11 May 2006

Black Swan Green 
by David Mitchell.
Sceptre, 371 pp., £16.99, May 2006, 0 340 82279 1
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... link. I’d tell Moran. Moran’d tell his sister Kelly. Kelly’d tell Pete Redmarley’s sister Ruth. Ruth Redmarley’d tell Pete Redmarley. Pete Redmarley’d tell Nick Yew. Nick Yew’d tell Tom Yew. Tom Yew’d come round to my house this evening on his Suzuki 150cc, tie me in a sack, and drown me in the lake in the ...

One Night in Maidenhead

Jean McNicol, 30 October 1997

Noel Coward and Radclyffe Hall: Kindred Spirits 
by Terry Castle.
Columbia, 150 pp., £15.95, November 1996, 0 231 10596 7
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Your John: The Love Letters of Radclyffe Hall 
edited by Joanne Glasgow.
New York, 273 pp., £20, March 1997, 0 8147 3092 2
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Radclyffe Hall: A Woman Called John 
by Sally Cline.
Murray, 434 pp., £25, June 1997, 9780719554087
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... stereotypical opposition she sees exemplified in the pair between the writings and the lives of gay men (‘worldly and facetious’) and women (‘humourless and self-involved’). She does this by tracing both their friendship – part of a ‘rich yet neglected’ history of ‘cultural relationships’ between gay men ...

Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones, 20 October 1983

The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... harlot, Bathsheba who was tempting to King David, Tamar who coaxed her father-in-law – and even Ruth, who crept under the bedclothes of Boaz, her kinsman. Does not this suggest that Matthew wanted to show that Mary was descended from ‘sinners’? This is far-fetched. We are not convinced that Matthew meant his readers to think all these women ...

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