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Fetch the Scissors

Colin Burrow: B.S. Johnson, 11 April 2013

Well Done God! Selected Prose and Drama of B.S. Johnson 
edited by Jonathan Coe, Philip Tew and Julia Jordan.
Picador, 471 pp., £25, February 2013, 978 1 4472 2710 6
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Trawl 
by B.S. Johnson.
Picador, 183 pp., £12.99, February 2013, 978 1 4472 0036 9
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Albert Angelo 
by B.S. Johnson.
Picador, 180 pp., £12.99, February 2013, 978 1 4472 0037 6
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Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry 
by B.S. Johnson.
Picador, 187 pp., £12.99, February 2013, 978 1 4472 0035 2
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House Mother Normal 
by B.S. Johnson.
Picador, 204 pp., £12.99, February 2013, 978 1 4472 0038 3
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... Until very recently I had never read any B.S. Johnson. I had a staticky reminiscence of what he might have been, which could be represented, using his own idiosyncratic conventions for marking the lapses that run through our consciousness of the world, as ‘experimental … . suicide … . wrists was it?’To clear the static first: these reprints are to celebrate what would have been the eightieth birthday of the novelist B ...

At BAMPFA

Julia Bryan-Wilson: Rosie Lee Tompkins, 17 December 2020

... suggestive narratives: one, from around 1996, constellates Magic Johnson, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jordan, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X and others in a fraught tribute to Black masculinity.Tompkins’s work is attuned to all the nuances of race, gender and class that fabric can signify. When set next to each other to accentuate textural contrast, seemingly ...

Cambridge Did This

Tareq Baconi: Queer Borders, 4 November 2021

The Pink Line: The World’s Queer Frontiers 
by Mark Gevisser.
Profile, 525 pp., £10.99, July 2020, 978 1 78816 514 3
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Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique 
by Sa’ed Atshan.
Stanford, 274 pp., £20.99, May 2020, 978 1 5036 1239 6
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... There​ weren’t any gays in Jordan in the 1980s. There were khawals (‘faggots’) and tants (‘sissy boys’): these words, uttered with contempt, were a feature of my childhood long before I understood what they meant. Then they became clues to the explanation for my own feeling of wrongness. In the wake of the First Gulf War, our cloistered world in Amman was penetrated by the internet and cable TV, and online chat rooms and American sitcoms offered a language and a way of thinking previously unimaginable to adolescents like me, who had no words with which to conceive their sexuality and no forum in which to express it ...

Admiring

Stephen Wall, 26 March 1992

Surviving: The Uncollected Writings of Henry Green 
edited by Matthew Yorke.
Chatto, 302 pp., £18, February 1992, 0 7011 3900 5
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Pack my bag 
by Henry Green.
Hogarth, 242 pp., £9.99, February 1992, 0 7012 0988 7
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Loving 
by Henry Green.
Harvill, 225 pp., £6.99, February 1992, 0 00 271185 0
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... English crowd is the best behaved in the world.’ ‘Dear good English people,’ thinks Julia, ‘who never make trouble no matter how bad it is.’ It’s clear that such thoughts are complacent and self-centred, and the basic situation of Party Going brilliantly illustrates money’s power to insulate the few from the hardships of the many. But ...

Diary

Elaine Mokhtefi: Panthers in Algiers, 1 June 2017

... and international press, diplomats and representatives from the world’s liberation movements. Julia Hervé, the daughter of Richard Wright, came from Paris to interpret from English into French. I did the same, into English, for the Cleavers. ‘We are an integral part of Africa’s history,’ Cleaver said at the conference. ‘White America teaches us ...

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