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Good Girl, Bad Girl

Elaine Showalter, 5 June 1997

Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment 
by Jane Gallop.
Duke, 104 pp., £28.50, June 1997, 0 8223 1918 7
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A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned 
by Jane Tompkins.
Addison-Wesley, 256 pp., $22, January 1997, 0 201 91212 0
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Bequest and Betrayal: Memoirs of a Parent’s Death 
by Nancy Miller.
Oxford, 208 pp., £19.50, February 1997, 0 19 509130 2
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... of their masters. Separately, they show how the academic memoir can be an embarrassment or an art form. Jane Gallop’s streetwise voice in Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment reminds me of the scene in The Mirror Has Two Faces when Barbra Streisand, playing a frumpy, unconditionally lovable Columbia University English professor, has a makeover and ...

Grand Gestures

Janette Turner Hospital, 25 May 1995

A River Town 
by Thomas Keneally.
Sceptre, 330 pp., £15.99, March 1995, 9780340610930
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... of the novelist’s work in some quarters. Perhaps Keneally will come to wish that he had done as Art Spiegelman, author of the Pulitzer-prize-winning Maus, has done: turned down Spielberg’s film offer.) Keneally is one of those rare writers whose work is widely accessible yet also of real sinew and complexity. He is too fine a novelist not to subvert ...


Jeremy Treglown, 6 August 1992

Writers on World War Two: An Anthology 
edited by Mordecai Richler.
Chatto, 752 pp., £18.99, February 1992, 0 7011 3912 9
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Legacies and Ambiguities: Post-war Fiction and Culture in West Germany and Japan 
edited by Ernestine Schlant and Thomas Rimer.
Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Johns Hopkins, 323 pp., $35, February 1992, 0 943875 30 7
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... often prompts. Another of these objections, also levelled at Amis, is that beyond a certain point, art about human suffering becomes inconceivable – that as, Adorno claimed, ‘after Auschwitz, it is no longer possible to write poems.’ Richler includes some grimly beautiful counter-examples, among them Peter Porter’s ‘Annotations of Auschwitz’, a ...

Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes, 10 April 2008

Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... Exit Wounds (2007), a missing-person story set in present day Tel Aviv. The trend began with Art Spiegelman’s Maus, the first graphic novel to cross over into the literature market, in which the author memorably depicts himself at the cartoonist’s table, as a man in a mouse mask. The suitability of the comics medium to historical narratives ...

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