When I read novels as good as these two, whether it be by chance, or the happy whim of the Editor, I thank God for the public libraries. It is only through these institutions that I shall be able to lay hands on the ten or so earlier novels which both these unfamiliar (to me at least) authors have written. If their previous books manifest the same humour, compassion and technical skill as these new works, then I shall be amazed that neither of them is better known.
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'She drank a lot of wine and some of the great bottles she savoured are listed here. But her biggest appetite was for love, no doubt fuelled ... by the lack of it in her early childhood.'
Cressida Connolly reviews a new biography of Sybille Bedford.
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…'