Lynne Truss

Dora and Nora, Two Batty Old Bags

Wise Children

By Angela Carter

Sometimes the pleasure an author has taken in researching a novel adds a kind of radiance to the text. Wise Children is such a book. Despite being a magnificently vivid and funny first-person narrative delivered by Dora Chance (a 75-year-old ex-chorus girl, daughter of a famous Shakespearian actor), Wise Children is yet haunted by an image of the author herself, having a bloody good time. One imagines her striding purposefully around libraries and archives, loudly whistling Cole Porter’s ‘Brush up your Shakespeare’; or leading a sing-song in a South London pub, high-kicking like a Tiller Girl with a band of thickly painted old troupers. Perhaps she did neither, of course. But reading this exuberant book, there is an undeniable sensation that there was good sport at its making.

Donmar Warehouse


Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Interesting thread by Aki there on inclusivity in publishing. (Read her tweets for full thread.),
    • RT : A conference about inclusivity in publishing is a fantastic idea, but doesn't £200 seem a short-sighted undermining of, well, inclusivity?,
    • Calling all friends of bulbous salutations & the elfin grot: lots of entries to have already come in, but my door’s still open...,
    • 'Why the hell don’t they have more fun with their money?' Patrick Leigh Fermor skewers the super-rich ,
    • When Lenin went interrailing: Catherine Merridale charts his journey in her new book ,
    • Deadline today to win a pair of tickets to The Entertainer starring Kenneth Branagh. To enter, email marketing[at] .,