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Pretty Good Privacy

Brian Rotman, 1 June 2000

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography 
by Simon Singh.
Fourth Estate, 402 pp., £16.99, September 1999, 1 85702 879 1
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In Code: A Mathematical Journey 
by Sarah Flannery.
Profile, 292 pp., £14.99, April 2000, 1 86197 222 9
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Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption 
by Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau.
MIT, 346 pp., £10.50, April 1999, 0 262 54100 9
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... reasons of security. Independently of this, a mathematically gifted Irish schoolgirl, 16-year-old Sarah Flannery, recently invented a public-key algorithm based on multiplying 2x2 matrices that was thought to be as secure as RSA but many times faster to execute. It now turns out, as she had warned, that her algorithm, fast and ingenious though it is, is ...

Not in My House

Mark Ford: Flannery O’Connor, 23 July 2009

FlanneryA Life of Flannery O’Connor 
by Brad Gooch.
Little, Brown, 448 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 0 316 00066 6
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... The protagonist of ‘The Enduring Chill’, a short story Flannery O’Connor began in the autumn of 1957, is a 25-year-old would-be writer called Asbury Fox, who has been forced to return from Manhattan to the family farm in rural Georgia on account of a mysterious illness from which he believes he is dying. His path-breaking play on ‘the Negro’ has not yet been written; he has, however, completed a letter to his mother that fills two notebooks, and which he means her to read after his death ...

Soft-Speaking Tough Souls

Joyce Carol Oates: Grace Paley, 16 April 1998

The Collected Stories of Grace Paley 
Virago, 398 pp., £12.99, January 1998, 1 86049 423 4Show More
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... vernacular suggests a kinship with her older contemporaries, Singer, Malamud and Bellow. Like Flannery O’Connor, another American original who came of age in the Fifties, Paley has concentrated on short fiction, and her major work is assembled in a single, not extraordinarily hefty volume. (She began writing as a poet, but her first volume of ...

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