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A Predilection for the Zinger

Rebecca Mead: Lorrie Moore, 10 December 1998

Birds of America 
by Lorrie Moore.
Faber, 291 pp., £9.99, November 1998, 0 571 19529 6
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... Topsy. In January 1997, when Moore’s story came out, the publishing world was bracing itself for Kathryn Harrison’s The Kiss, the account of the incestuous affair she conducted with her father when she was 20. While the bestseller lists indicated an appetite for true-life stories, critics had started to express distaste for the publishing alchemy ...

Some girls want out

Hilary Mantel: Spectacular saintliness, 4 March 2004

The Voices of Gemma Galgani: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Saint 
by Rudolph Bell and Cristina Mazzoni.
Chicago, 320 pp., £21, March 2003, 0 226 04196 4
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Saint Thérèse of Lisieux 
by Kathryn Harrison.
Weidenfeld, 160 pp., £14.99, November 2003, 0 297 84728 7
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The Disease of Virgins: Green Sickness, Chlorosis and the Problems of Puberty 
by Helen King.
Routledge, 196 pp., £50, September 2003, 0 415 22662 7
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A Wonderful Little Girl: The True Story of Sarah Jacob, the Welsh Fasting Girl 
by Siân Busby.
Short Books, 157 pp., £5.99, June 2004, 1 904095 70 4
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... convent’s policy of denying Thérèse pain relief was elevated into suffering gladly embraced. Kathryn Harrison’s short life of Thérèse complements Monica Furlong’s 1987 study, and is in many ways more sympathetic. Neither biographer found the saint easy to like. Despite her sobriquet of the ‘Little Flower’, Thérèse was tough when her ...

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