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Plugs of Muscle

Joanna Kavenna

5 July 2001
A Friend of the Earth 
by T.C. Boyle.
Bloomsbury, 275 pp., £15.99, October 2000, 9780747547532
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... 2050. By then the world’s present population will, according to some estimates, have doubled. T.C. Boyle, in his new, provocative novel, A Friend of the Earth, brings Doomsday forward to 2025. It matters little what the oil-powered President does now, Boyle suggests: time has run out – no further preaching and ...


Christopher Turner: The controversial Alfred Kinsey

6 January 2005
... University, and I’m making a study of sex behaviour. Can I buy you a drink? In a simple attic room, with only a mattress on the pine floor, two people would have sex in a cone of light. Sometimes the director would disappear into the shadows so that the performers would forget he was there; at other times, according to one biographer, he would observe ...

My God, the Suburbs!

Colm Tóibín: John Cheever

5 November 2009
Cheever: A Life 
by Blake Bailey.
Picador, 770 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 330 43790 5
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... house, that he would, because of instincts he barely understood and deeply despised, lose the domestic life he craved and the people he most loved. He wrote in his journals that he was locked into ‘the toleration of an intolerable marriage’. Soon after his account of the man he had seen by the pool, he wrote of being with his younger son, Federico: ‘I ...


Terry Castle: Moving House

27 August 2009
... a Major Life Passage and all that. One’s pale, vine-withered, all-too-sensitive skin took notice. Nor did Blakey help matters when she said: Well, that’s how it started with my father. (We’re still legally married, btw; the ban on same-sex marriage voted in in the November election did not affect those of us who got married last summer.) B. my ...

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