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Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones, 20 October 1983

The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... caught by an admiring boy who returns them – ‘I brought your things, sir!’ – and fetches green corn-tips for the beast to eat. Sprinklers are hissing over the lawns and a fish is walking by the mareotic lake and a tree has shed its covering of scales. The last thing the dreamer tells us is that he is looking into the globes of a girl’s eyes and ...

Out of the blue

Mark Ford, 10 December 1987

Meeting the British 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 53 pp., £9.95, May 1987, 0 571 14858 1
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Partingtime Hall 
by James Fenton and John Fuller.
Salamander, 69 pp., £7.50, April 1987, 0 948681 05 5
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Private Parts 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Chatto, 72 pp., £4.95, June 1987, 9780701132064
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Bright River Yonder 
by John Hartley Williams.
Bloodaxe, 87 pp., £4.95, April 1987, 1 85224 028 8
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... own novel in verse, The Illusionists. One of the book’s best satires is a scabrous fantasy on Wendy Cope and Fiona Pitt-Kethley, who were each launched last year to huge popular acclaim. Pitt-Kethley has been the quicker to consolidate her success, and her new collection, Private Parts, shouldn’t disappoint the large following that Sky Ray Lolly ...


Alan Bennett: Fresh Revelations, 20 October 1994

... at the Connaught for John Gielgud’s 90th birthday given by Alec Guinness. John G. in an olive-green corduroy suit, elbows pressed firmly into his sides, hands clasped over his tummy, smiling and giggling and bubbling over with things to say and (except for a small fading of the voice) no different from when I first met him twenty-five years ago. Dame Judi ...


Amit Chaudhuri: Modi’s Hinduism, 17 December 2015

... he is identified with speech-making, he’s silent on key issues. His silence is interpreted as a green light by those who commit violence in his name. When the soft-spoken, mumbling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kept resolutely quiet about his Congress government’s rampant corruption, Modi’s deputy, Amit Shah, mocked him for being a mauni baba – a holy ...

The poet steamed

Iain Sinclair: Tom Raworth, 19 August 2004

Collected Poems 
by Tom Raworth.
Carcanet, 576 pp., £16.95, February 2003, 1 85754 624 5
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Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom Raworth 
edited by Nate Dorward.
The Gig, 288 pp., £15, March 2003, 0 9685294 3 7
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... Collections of the notable figures are beginning to appear: J.H. Prynne, Barry MacSweeney, Wendy Mulford, John James, with decent selections of Bill Griffiths, Allen Fisher, Douglas Oliver. And glimpses of many others, the reforgotten: John Temple, Anna Mendelssohn. It is a truth, unilaterally acknowledged (Cambridge and environs), that Raworth is the ...

The Olympics Scam

Iain Sinclair: The Razing of East London, 19 June 2008

... smell that some people say drifts in from the countryside, a folk memory of what these clipped green acres used, so recently, to be. Mulch of market gardens. Animal droppings in hot mounds. The distant rumble of construction convoys. The heron dance of elegant cloud-scraping cranes. Flocks of cyclists clustering together for safety, dipping and swerving ...


Alan Bennett: Bennett’s Dissection, 1 January 2009

... bike slips out of my hands and slides to the floor, in the process tearing a piece out of my leg. Wendy, the nice nurse at the practice, tells me I should try and keep the dressing dry. The result is that when in the evening I have my bath I look not unlike Marat, except that whereas Marat has his arm hanging over the side of the bath, I have my leg. 14 ...

Every Slightest Pebble

Clarence Brown, 25 May 1995

The Akhmatova Journals. Vol. I: 1938-1941 
by Lydia Chukovskaya, translated by Milena Michalski and Sylva Rubashova.
Harvill, 310 pp., £20, June 1994, 0 00 216391 8
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Remembering Anna Akhmatova 
by Anatoly Nayman, translated by Wendy Rosslyn.
Halban, 240 pp., £18, June 1991, 9781870015417
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Anna Akhmatova and Her Circle 
edited by Konstantin Polivanov, translated by Patricia Beriozkina.
Arkansas, 281 pp., $32, January 1994, 1 55728 308 7
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Anna Akhmatova: Poet and Prophet 
by Roberta Reeder.
Allison and Busby, 592 pp., £25, February 1995, 0 85031 998 6
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Women’s Works in Stalin’s Time: On Lidia Chukovskaia and Nadezhda Mandelstam 
by Beth Holmgren.
Indiana, 225 pp., £25, September 1993, 0 253 33860 3
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... the correct date, 1938, in the essay by Akhmatova that follows. His first book, Stone, is given as Green Stone, the original Russian having referred to the colour of the binding of its first edition. The famous Italian Slavist Lo Gatto is Logatto, Modigliani is Amedea. Lourié appears as Lurye, for, as a prefatory note explains, the names ‘have not been ...

Born to Lying

Theo Tait: Le Carré, 3 December 2015

John le Carré: The Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Bloomsbury, 652 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 1 4088 2792 5
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... and was recruited over a glass of sherry by a pair of British diplomats who called themselves Wendy and Sandy to spy on left-wing student groups. ‘Keen to prove himself a patriot’, he agreed. Over the next decade and a half, Cornwell performed a whistlestop tour of the British establishment, with added espionage thrown in, charming and impressing ...

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