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Tomb for Two

Adam Mars-Jones, 10 February 1994

The Father 
by Sharon Olds.
Secker, 88 pp., £6, February 1993, 0 436 33952 8
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The Sign of Saturn 
by Sharon Olds.
Secker, 92 pp., £8, March 1991, 0 436 20029 5
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... Praise The Father. Praise Sharon Olds. Celebrate the autobiographical mode in American poetry, its risks and rewards. Praise directness cut with understatement, starkness with an obliquity that can still take the reader off guard. Salute, with unease, elegies that are also episodes of psychodrama, stages of a struggle that bereavement alters in key but hardly interrupts ...

Two Poems

Hugo Williams, 8 December 1988

... What happened to women’s poetry in the last two thousand years? What about Sappho? What about Sharon Olds? The foil wrapper of the Durex Gossamer, weakened by hours of friction, gave way and my fingers found themselves rubbing together in a mess of spermicide and vaginal ...

Poetic Licence

Mark Ford, 21 August 1997

Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist 
by Neal Bowers.
Norton, 136 pp., £12.95, March 1997, 0 393 04007 0
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... thumbprint on Bowers’s poem, as he did on the work of other poets such as Mark Strand and Sharon Olds, whose poems he also appropriated. Outraged, Bowers and his wife Nancy set about trawling through poetry periodicals in search of further Sumner plagiarisms, and sent off letters to magazine editors warning of Sumner’s activities. The ...


Andrew O’Hagan, 5 October 1995

Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters 1940-56 
edited by Ann Charters.
Viking, 629 pp., £25, August 1995, 0 670 84952 9
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... time, and then she came in wearing a pair of black boots. ‘Look,’ she said to me, ‘these are Sharon Olds’s boots.’ And so they were. Laura used to work as a secretary for the poet Sharon Olds, in New York, and one day the nice Ms Olds gave her a loan of her boots to ...

‘A Dubai on the Mediterranean’

Sara Roy: Trapped in Gaza, 3 November 2005

... Test scores for Palestinian children are well below the pass level, and the majority of eight-year-olds fail to advance to the next grade. About 42 per cent of Gazans are now categorised by the World Food Programme (WFP) as ‘food insecure’ – i.e. lacking secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development; in ...

Lamb’s Tails

Christopher Driver, 19 June 1986

All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present 
by Stephen Mennell.
Blackwell, 380 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 631 13244 9
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Curye on Inglysch: English Culinary Manuscripts of the 14th Century including ‘The Forme of Cury’ 
edited by Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler.
Oxford, for the Early English Text Society, 224 pp., £6.50, April 1985, 0 19 722409 1
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The English Cookbook 
by Victor Gordon.
Cape, 304 pp., £12.50, November 1985, 0 224 02300 4
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... in Exeter (where Meynell directs the Western European Studies Centre) of taking 50 13 to 15-year-olds, half English, half French, for a traditional Devonshire ‘cream tea’ in Bovey Tracey: ‘The French children ate theirs with enjoyment; the English proved a nightmare with their various dislikes (about the scones, clotted cream, or jam, and demanding ...

A bout de Bogart

Jenny Diski, 19 May 2011

Tough without a Gun: The Extraordinary Life of Humphrey Bogart 
by Stefan Kanfer.
Faber, 288 pp., £14.99, February 2011, 978 0 571 26072 0
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... America’ is one reason we now have Tom Cruise in place of Bogart. A variety of voices are cited. Sharon Waxman in the New York Times attributes the loss of ‘man’s men’ to what she believes (against a good deal of evidence) to be the entirely peaceful and cosseted existence everyone in the US has been living since the end of World War Two. She bemoans ...


Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997, 1 January 1998

... the lives they led. It’s both droll and inspiring; the unself-conscious way these eighty-year-olds recall experiences in the WAAFs or as seamen on the Western Approaches makes one want to raise a cheer, not for gay liberation particularly, but for toleration and common sense, and also for courage.In tonight’s programme there’s an unlikely ...

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