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Mommy-Daddy Time

Zoë Heller: Can parents have fun?, 5 June 2014

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood 
by Jennifer Senior.
Virago, 308 pp., £13.99, March 2014, 978 0 349 00551 5
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... the odd infanticidal urge is considered a rather suspect figure. And yet, the American journalist Jennifer Senior argues in her earnest book about modern parenthood, it would be wrong to conclude that children only spoil their parents’ fun. Most parents, she writes, reject the findings of social science as a violation of their ‘deepest ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, 23 June 2022

... following not very hard on the heels of the original, which came out in 1986. When Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connolly) reintroduces her long-term, on-off love interest to her daughter as Captain Pete Mitchell, the girl says, ‘Captain? Still?’ She obviously knows a lot about time and the navy, and probably guesses a lot about Pete (Tom Cruise, of ...

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me

David Thomson: The Keynotes of Cary Grant, 5 November 2020

Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend 
by Mark Glancy.
Oxford, 550 pp., £22.99, October, 978 0 19 005313 0
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Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise 
by Scott Eyman.
Simon and Schuster, 556 pp., £27.10, November, 978 1 5011 9211 1
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... And there is Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father (2011), the very fond book by that child, Jennifer Grant, who was born in 1966, almost exactly as Dad retired from pictures. As she admitted, there was family history she didn’t quite know, just as there were films she wasn’t properly aware of.A couple of years ago, there was a thoughtful, inventive ...


John Sutherland, 21 March 1991

by Roger Scruton.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 236 pp., £13.95, February 1991, 9781856190480
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Slave of the Passions 
by Deirdre Wilson.
Picador, 251 pp., £14.99, February 1991, 0 330 31788 1
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The Invisible Worm 
by Jennifer Johnston.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 182 pp., £12.95, February 1991, 1 85619 041 2
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The Secret Pilgrim 
by John le Carré.
Hodder, 335 pp., £14.95, January 1991, 0 340 54381 7
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... called for. Scruton and Wilson are teachers at the University of London and occasional novelists. Jennifer Johnston is a full-time professional who has won, or come close to winning, her profession’s highest prizes (though not the mass readership that sometimes goes with them). The Invisible Worm is a skilled exercise in narrative economy. It must be the ...

Short Cuts

Peter Geoghegan: On Greensill, 6 May 2021

... access to Westminster, at first personally and then by means of former cabinet ministers and senior civil servants who were paid to plead on his behalf. The diaphanous, ineffectual reforms to lobbying regulation that Cameron introduced in 2014 are part of the problem, but the rot affecting standards in British public life goes much deeper.The Greensill ...

At the Towner Gallery

David Trotter: Jananne Al-Ani, 12 May 2022

... artillery, tanks, troop carriers. This could all be a celebration, a victory parade. The more senior among the notably lantern-jawed officers on the scene seem confident in their ability to govern by the jut of a cigar or pipe rather than by martial law. And yet there is unrest – or more – in the air. A group of refugees crosses a bridge over the ...

Pull as archer, in lbs

Mary Beard, 5 September 1996

Cambridge Women: Twelve Portraits 
edited by Edward Shils and Carmen Blacker.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 521 48344 1
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A Woman in History: Eileen Power 1889-1940 
by Maxine Berg.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £45, April 1996, 0 521 40278 6
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... top of Part One of the Mathematical Tripos (as a woman she could not be given the usual title of Senior Wrangler; so, in an awkward compromise, she was declared to have come ‘above the Senior Wrangler’). Girton’s equivalent of Philippa Fawcett is Agnata Ramsay, who in 1887 was the only examination candidate in ...

More aggressive, dear!

Zachary Leader, 31 July 1997

My Aces, My Faults 
by Nick Bollettieri and Dick Schaap.
Robson, 346 pp., £17.95, June 1997, 1 86105 087 9
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... all these fathers ‘look like pussycats’. In addition to belittling his son in front of other senior players in the locker room – an especially grievous sin in Bollettieri’s eyes, since ‘his rivals should be intimidated by Mark; they should not be feeling sorry for him’ – he ‘distrusted outsiders, hated the media, insisted that everything be ...


Stephen Smith: What’s become of Barings?, 23 March 1995

... the disappearance – or shredding – of records concerning his last two months of trading. Six senior bank figures are said to have been interviewed in the Square Mile. On the day Mr Pollard was speaking came news of a letter signed by a Barings director in Singapore which assured Simex that head office was aware of its huge cash commitments over ...

Cronyism and Clientelism

Peter Geoghegan, 5 November 2020

... by an adviser to the Board of Trade, which is chaired by Liz Truss, who just happened to be a senior board adviser at Ayanda. NHS data has been signed over not only to Amazon and Google but also to Palantir Technologies, the big data firm set up by the PayPal co-founder and Republican Party funder Peter Thiel, and Faculty, a small artificial intelligence ...

Miss Dior, Prodigally Applied

Ian Patterson: Jilly Cooper, 18 May 2017

by Jilly Cooper.
Corgi, 610 pp., £7.99, February 2017, 978 0 552 17028 4
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... Jilly Cooper​ ’s work is not, so far as I know, much studied in universities. In the Senior Combination Room one lunchtime recently, when I mentioned that I was writing this review, a Very Senior Person slumped forward with his head in his hands, muttering: ‘Oh no, soft porn!’ Other people either laugh, or look quizzically at me and hurry away ...

Le Roi Jean Quinze

Stefan Collini: Roy Jenkins and Labour, 5 June 2014

Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 818 pp., £30, March 2014, 978 0 224 08750 6
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... task first assigned to Andrew Adonis and then handed on), written with the full collaboration of Jennifer Jenkins. Although Campbell is too intelligent a writer to be content with any kind of hagiography and too well informed about recent British politics not to recognise Jenkins’s centrality to the ‘painful’ story of the ‘retreat of social democracy ...

Living the Life

Andrew O’Hagan, 6 October 2016

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency 
by James Andrew Miller.
Custom House, 703 pp., £20, August 2016, 978 0 06 244137 9
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... work is an aspect of international relations, part of God’s plan. ‘At the end of the day,’ Jennifer Lopez says, ‘it’s not just building a brand that is trying to make money, but trying to make history and trying to be a part of something bigger.’ ‘Bigger’, it seems, can mean many things. Often it means being an amalgam of other showbusiness ...

A Giant Still Sleeping

Lorna Scott Fox: Mike Davies, 4 April 2002

Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City 
by Mike Davis.
Verso, 202 pp., £10, November 2001, 9781859843284
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... In the US, any similarity between a destitute Salvadoran illegal, a prosperous Chicano doctor and Jennifer Lopez exists primarily in the eyes of opportunistic marketing strategies that have made ‘Latin’ rhythms and food hip in white markets. From the new dulce con leche candies to the Buena Vista Social Club, the consumer image flogs the Old Europe ...

I am a knife

Jacqueline Rose: A Woman’s Agency, 22 February 2018

Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus 
by Vanessa Grigoriadis.
Houghton Mifflin, 332 pp., £20, September 2017, 978 0 544 70255 4
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Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus 
by Laura Kipnis.
HarperCollins, 245 pp., £20, April 2017, 978 0 06 265786 2
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Living a Feminist Life 
by Sara Ahmed.
Duke, 312 pp., £20.99, February 2017, 978 0 8223 6319 4
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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 288 pp., £13.99, July 2017, 978 1 4721 5111 7
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Difficult Women 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 272 pp., £13.99, January 2017, 978 1 4721 5277 0
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... and private spaces. Uncles who wink at them when their parents are not looking, the managers and senior colleagues who, in a handshake, quickly turn their index finger to circle their palms, knowing that they will not call them out. They are too paralysed to react. That, even when they are being disrespected, they will pull away quietly and carry on as if ...

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