Alan Rafferty

Sisters Doing it for Themselves

The Old Ladies of Nazareth


Quartet Books 71pp £10 order from our bookshop

Lest extracts from this review appear in Private Eye, I should declare at its beginning that Naim Attallah once had the good fortune to be proprietor of the Literary Review (of which I am acting editor). He gave up his interest in the magazine some years before I arrived, and I have met him only once, as he was ascending the steps of the In and Out Club in St James’s Square on his way to the ceremony for this year’s Bad Sex Award, his face alight with the jubilation that all those attending that august event feel at having been invited. He asked me what I thought of his short new book, and I told him (as one must when put on the spot by any author, unpredictable and potentially dangerous breed that they are) that I liked it, very much. ‘Very much’ may have been an exaggeration resulting from the convivial spirit of the occasion, but I did enjoy this book, though I suspect that not everyone will.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,
    • RT : Joanna Kavenna’s ‘Cooking with Trotsky’s Frying Pan’ in June’s is the most well written and interesting… ,