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Siding with Rushdie

Christopher Hitchens, 26 October 1989

The Rushdie File 
edited by Lisa Appignanesi and Sara Maitland.
Fourth Estate/ICA, 268 pp., £5.95, July 1989, 0 947795 84 7
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CounterBlasts No 4: Sacred Cows 
by Fay Weldon.
Chatto, 43 pp., £2.99, July 1989, 0 7011 3556 5
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Salman Rushdie and the Third World: Myths of the Nation 
by Timothy Brennan.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £29.50, September 1989, 0 333 49020 7
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... drew a warm seconding letter from the reliably reactionary Elizabeth Jane Howard and her friend Sybille Bedford. If Berger had slyly blamed all the mayhem onto ‘the Rushdie affair’, these two went him one better in the business of culpability. The violence was not the result of some artfully displaced ‘affair’ but of the existence of Rushdie ...

Take a bullet for the team

David Runciman: The Profumo Affair, 21 February 2013

An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 400 pp., £20, January 2013, 978 0 00 743584 5
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... In this, he and Christine Keeler were well suited. ‘She is a very, very pretty girl,’ Sybille Bedford wrote about her after the scandal broke. ‘All the curves and lines are as good as they can be, the head has charm and grace, and there is a faint oriental touch about the face: the pure smoothness, the hint of high cheekbone, the slant of ...

The Suitcase

Frances Stonor Saunders, 30 July 2020

... and their offspring, you could easily end up with ten thousand entries on your family tree. Sybille Bedford found the whole thing irksome; one can hear her yawn as she makes her brisk way through it, only to ask, ‘Did one have to have a parent?’, which is not so much a question as a complaint. For better or worse – and there’s plenty of ...

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