Lead book review

One for all

Mei Fong tells the routine story of a girl who managed to conceal an illegal pregnancy until the baby was almost due, when family planning officials surrounded her hiding place at night. ‘She ran and ran and ran until she came to a pond. Then she ran in, until the water was at her neck.

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Laughter and tears

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Cold comfort for Gibbons fans

One of the great fascinations of a ‘lost’ work by a famous name dredged up out of the vault after a lapse of several decades lies in establishing precisely when it was written. The jacket of Pure Juliet offers no clue, but parenthetic mention of Star Wars being on at the Odeon and an old

Act of Faith

This winter morning between seven and eight, half a white moon still present, a ghost not shining on plentiful frost and mid-January, in the weeks when Christmas might as well be a lifetime ago, distant as dreams or fate; when journalists shore up columns by defining all the factors converging annually to load some blue

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