In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali


James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Short back and sides with a blowtorch, pleaseAdrian Mitchell
Vol. 13 No. 23 · 5 December 1991

Short back and sides with a blowtorch, please

Adrian Mitchell

201 words

Barbara Hepworth used to do my hair. I was a weekend Ted in those
days and Miz H could shape a mean Pompadour. She liked to get a sort of
surfer’s tunnel through the front. Trough of the Wave, she called it, and
from the right angle you could see right through my hair like my head had
a hole in it, which it didn’t. I jacked in Babs finally because she’d
always be playing the Bee Gees over her salon speakers. Not that she
listened to them, she’d be gabbing in general about different kinds
of stone. Stone and rock. Lizzie Frink used to shampoo me before
the cut – it was always a ten bob tip for Frinkie and a quid for the Hep. They
both took it hard when I switched to Tony Caro’s place ... Of course the first barber
I went to was old Harry Moore, had a place up the road, old-fashioned
Yorkshire establishment, stick a tripe bowl on your head and clip around
it happily enough while whistling Ilkley Moor Ba Taht or telling stories
about driving a tube train during the Blitz. Naum Gabo once
gave me a Yul Brynner ...

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences