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The Talk of Carshalton

Rosemary Hill: Pauline Boty’s Presence, 4 July 2024

Pauline Boty: British Pop Art’s Sole Sister 
by Marc Kristal.
Frances Lincoln, 256 pp., £25, October 2023, 978 0 7112 8754 9
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Pauline Boty: A Portrait 
by Bridget Boty, Ali Smith, Lynda Nead and Sue Tate.
Gazelli Art House, 110 pp., £40, January, 978 1 8380609 2 3
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... There has been​ more than one revival of interest in the mayfly career of Pauline Boty since her death in 1966 at the age of 28. In accordance with Cecil Beaton’s dictum that it takes slightly longer than 25 years for a cycle of taste to complete and for the merely dated to become historic, it was in 1993 that the Barbican put on The Sixties Art Scene in London, which featured several of her paintings ...

‘I intend to support white rule’

Ian Hamilton: Allen Tate, 24 May 2001

Allen TateOrphan of the South 
by Thomas Underwood.
Princeton, 447 pp., £21.95, December 2000, 0 691 06950 6
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... When Allen Tate died in 1979, Simon and Schuster speedily commissioned a biography, to be written, they announced, by Ned O’Gorman, a poet of some reputation and a friend of two of Tate’s three wives. O’Gorman, it would seem, got going in the usual way, writing to all the obvious Tate contacts and attempting to interview key intimates ...

Bitchy Little Spinster

Joanne O’Leary: Queens of Amherst, 3 June 2021

After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet 
by Julie Dobrow.
Norton, 448 pp., £13.99, January 2020, 978 0 393 35749 3
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... an early centralised heating system from the coal-fired furnace’. Mabel was ‘captivated’ by Sue, whom she entertained by playing the ‘beautiful new upright piano’ in the Dickinsons’ drawing room (she quickly earned a reputation as the finest musician in Amherst). She didn’t lose sleep over her decision to leave Millicent in Washington with her ...


Andrew Brighton: On Peter Fuller, 7 November 1991

... as the sin. Alan Bowness, then a member of the Arts Council and tipped as next Director of the Tate, had claimed in his presentation that ‘as an art historian one simply watches a development and reacts to what one sees as honestly as one can. One does not, in my view, try to contribute.’ Speaking from the floor, his impassioned voice almost breaking ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... an uncelebrated curation in the spirit of Joseph Beuys, or Phyllida Barlow’s recent mounds at Tate Britain. The higher they stack the investment silos of target architecture, the more those condemned to live in fallout shadows dig and scrape. A dowser and ley line tracker called Alan Hayday, formerly employed on the assembly line of the Ford Motor Company ...

Oh for the oo tray

William Feaver: Edward Burra, 13 December 2007

Edward Burra: Twentieth-Century Eye 
by Jane Stevenson.
Cape, 496 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 224 07875 7
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... outside is anything to go by, Edward Burra’s The Snack Bar, an oil painting from 1930 in the Tate (but rarely shown), is set in Paris or Toulon or, plausibly, in a Frenchified Soho. Closer inspection reveals a Metro sign across the street, surely the clincher. But no: John Davenport, writing in Lilliput 17 years later, claimed he knew the joint ...

Issues of Truth and Invention

Colm Tóibín: Francis Stuart’s wartime broadcasts, 4 January 2001

The Wartime Broadcasts of Francis Stuart 
edited by Brendan Barrington.
Lilliput, 192 pp., £25, September 2000, 1 901866 54 8
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... in my first week at University College Dublin. He shared a platform with the American poet James Tate. While Tate read from his work, Stuart spoke about his difficulty in publishing his novel Black List, Section H, which had finally come out from an American university press. He did not look like a 70-year-old man. He was ...

A Blizzard of Prescriptions

Emily Witt: The Pain Lobby, 4 April 2019

by Beth Macy.
Head of Zeus, 376 pp., £9.99, March 2019, 978 1 78854 942 4
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American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts 
by Chris McGreal.
Faber, 316 pp., £12.99, November 2018, 978 1 78335 168 8
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Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic 
by Sam Quinones.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £12.99, June 2016, 978 1 62040 252 8
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... who objected to OxyContin early on found themselves ignored. Macy writes about the efforts of Sue Cantrell, a Virginia public health officer who tried to warn state officials in the late 1990s, and Sister Beth Davies, an activist nun with a history of confronting the coal industry. She also writes about a rural health practitioner named Art Van Zee, who ...

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