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What’s your dust worth?

Steven Shapin: Corpses, 14 April 2011

After We Die: The Life and Times of the Human Cadaver 
by Norman Cantor.
Georgetown, 372 pp., £18.75, December 2010, 978 1 58901 695 8
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... are increasingly thought of in different ways. If you do want to know what happens to dead bodies, Norman Cantor’s After We Die offers a compact description. Within minutes, the pallor of death develops, as the blood drains from the surface capillaries and subsides deeper in the body. A few hours after death, the blood – no longer pumped round the ...

Deep Down in the Trash

Robert Crawford, 21 August 1997

God’s Gift to Women 
by Don Paterson.
Faber, 64 pp., £6.99, May 1997, 9780571177622
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... muse in tow, or by themselves, they kinged it in smoky pubs. Hard to imagine the sly and brilliant Norman MacCaig whingeing on about his masculinity. Now, however, earlier feminist explorations are being rediscovered in the late stories of Margaret Oliphant and the novels of Willa Muir and Catherine Carswell. Young women writers are finding that they have a ...

Occupation: Novelist

Christopher Beha: Peter Matthiessen, 31 July 2014

In Paradise 
by Peter Matthiessen.
Oneworld, 246 pp., £12.99, April 2014, 978 1 78074 555 8
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... the urban immigrant outpouring of Augie March) and to Barbary Shore and The Deer Park (the novels Norman Mailer wrote between his initial success with the more conventional war novel The Naked and the Dead and his emergence as a hipster prophet). Like Bellow and Mailer, Matthiessen eventually escaped the GI existentialist mode, in his case not into the ...

A Little Holiday

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Ben Hecht’s Cause, 23 September 2021

A Child of the Century 
by Ben Hecht.
Yale, 654 pp., £16, April 2020, 978 0 300 25179 1
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Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures 
by Adina Hoffman.
Yale, 245 pp., £10.99, April 2020, 978 0 300 25181 4
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... Shima’s House of All Nations. Reliable newspapermen had kept the score.’ Maybe so, although Norman Mailer said that Hecht was ‘never a writer to tell the truth when a concoction could put life in his prose’. In her new biography, Adina Hoffman claims he was ‘as voracious for words as he was for girls – which was saying a very great deal’. In ...

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