John Bayley

Doing the Charleston

A Turn in the South

By V S Naipaul

Viking 207pp £4.95 order from our bookshop

There can be few people who enjoy dreaming about history who have not remembered Gone with the Wind and Stonewall Jackson and imagined the Southerners winning the war. There is even a book (written by a Yankee of course) entitled If the South had Won, and musing with sentimental fondness on Lincoln’s honourable captivity after Mosby’s troopers had kidnapped him from Washington, and General Lee’s masterly encirclement of the Union army at Gettysburg. It ends with North and South agreeing to join up again after both have fought for the allies in the Great War.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • If you're at , starting tomorrow, there are free copies of Literary Review for festival attendees. Grab while stocks last!,
    • Weekend read 1: 'The fiery meteor that was Victor Grayson', as presented in David Clark's biography ,
    • We’re offering the chance to win a copy of I Am Not Your Negro. You can find all the information in our newsletter: ,
    • Stephen Bates reviews Richard Ingrams's biography of Ludovic Kennedy ,
    • RT : Pls enjoy my interview about the Bad Sex Awards w @Lit_Review-"My body was her gearstick" & "his bulbous salutation" ,
    • RT : Come for the insights about love from , stay for the readings from the 's Bad Sex Award winners! ,
    • Temporal, geographical and mental landscapes shift and interweave in Michèle Roberts’s The Walworth Beauty ,