The earth shook for Arab society in 2011. We are conscious of one generation giving way to another. The regimes that have been overthrown or are on the defensive were moulded in the 1960s and 1970s. Autocratic governments have tried to control and manipulate culture and, through a combination of censorship and patronage, literature. But, reflecting the politics of the region, a newer generation of writers is emerging and the prescriptions and assumptions of the past have lost relevance.
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I have just spent a wonderful few minutes re-reading the best book review of the year in my opinion. It's by Piers Brendon in September's issue of @Lit_Review. Beautifully captioned as 'Jack the Lad', Brendon takes Fredrik Logevall's JFK: Vol.I apart! It's a laugh a minute. Ouch!
'Perhaps the real modern polymaths are the hidden ones who do not themselves grab the limelight but have the expertise to bring together different fields of knowledge: librarians, teachers, editors of literary journals…'
Jan Morris, who died last week, was a much-loved contributor to our pages. In 2017, she wrote a characteristically witty article about the different winds, their various personalities and how they had touched her life: https://literaryreview.co.uk/let-it-blow.