mon 21/05/2018

memoir

Clancy Sigal: The London Lover review - a merry prankster's very long weekend

To readers of newspapers and magazines, the name Clancy Sigal will be very familiar, probably as a film reviewer. Addicted to writing, and to his old Smith Corona #3 portable typewriter, “Hemingway’s preferred machine”, he was a version of the man...

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Danny Baker, Touring review - boy, can he talk

The first thing that greets the audience in the foyer for Danny Baker's new show, Good Time Charlie's Back!, which I saw at Princes Hall in Aldershot, is the merchandise stall, selling various items; T-shirts for £20, programmes at £10 (pre-...

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Christie Watson: The Language of Kindness review - tender memoir, impassioned indignation

Anecdotal story-telling wrapped up in hypnotic prose, Christie Watson’s narrative is a gentle, emotive five-part layered package of reflection and indignation. It is part memoir-autobiography, part history of nursing (Indian, Greek, Byzantine and...

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Antony Sher: Year of the Mad King - extract

In 1982 Antony Sher played the Fool to Michael Gambon’s King in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear. Shortly after, he came back to Stratford to play Richard III, for which he won the Olivierand Evening Standard Awards for Best...

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John Tusa: 'the arts must make a noise' - interview

In our era of 24/7 news, downloadable from anywhere in the world at the touch of an app, it's hard to remember that not so very long ago the agenda was set by the BBC - the Home Service as Radio 4 was then called, and BBC TV, just the one channel,...

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Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) review - essential reading on identity

Usually extracts in newspapers should stimulate the appetite of the reader to get with it; this is a rare moment when the glimpses afforded to Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging have peculiarly maligned a complex and amply...

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David Lodge: Writer’s Luck - A Memoir 1976-1991 review - literary days, in detail

Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this, and more, turns you on, this lengthy memoir will be irresistible. It is almost a day-by-day account of 15 years of the...

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Jaron Lanier: Dawn of the New Everything review - pioneer of virtual reality tells his story

Jaron Lanier has quite a story to tell. From a teenage flute-playing goat-herd in New Mexico to an “intense dreamer”, and a maths student capable of arguing, about films for example, with “supremacist. Borgesian flair”, then onwards and upwards,...

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Tina Brown: The Vanity Fair Diaries 1983-1992 review - portrait of an era of glitz and excess

Tina Brown’s first Christmas issue of Vanity Fair in 1984 had this to say about “the sulky, Elvisy” Donald Trump: “…he’s a brass act. And he owns his own football team. And he thinks he should negotiate arms control agreements with the Soviet Union...

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The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb? Hardly uncontroversial, let alone inoffensive (he...

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Peggy Seeger: First Time Ever - A Memoir, review - a remarkable life

Seeger. A name to strike sparks with almost anyone, whether or not they have an interest in folk music, a catch-all term about which Peggy Seeger and her creative and life partner Ewan MacColl (they didn’t actually marry until a decade before his...

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Orhan Pamuk: Istanbul, Memories and the City review – a masterpiece upgraded

Along with Balzac’s Paris and Dickens’s London, Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul now ranks as one of the most illustrious author-trademarked cities in literary history. Yet, as Turkey’s Nobel laureate told me during a Southbank Centre interview last month, he...

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