In this week’s New Statesman, Melissa Benn returns to consider Lynne Reid Bank’s classic novel, The L Shaped Room, fifty years after it was first published.
Below, a piece I wrote about eighteen months ago, for an ongoing series on normblog and which I never put up on my own site.
So here it is:
It is not always easy to write about a favourite book or even to understand why some works are so much more meaningful to us than others. But with Jennie Gerhardt, Theodore Dreiser’s second and intensely tragic novel, I am acutely aware of how much of the book’s power is,
Read Melissa Benn’s latest review, of Laura Bush’s autobiography Spoken from the Heart, published in yesterday’s Guardian Review.
Read Melissa Benn’s latest review: of Piers Paul Read’s The Misogynist in today’s Independent.
This really doesn’t seem an apposite title for a blog post as we head, in a matter of hours, into May 6th and a possible hung parliament or worse, a Tory victory. But it IS the title of my latest published article; for anyone interested in our rich radical past, please read my New Statesman review, published yesterday, of Sheila Rowbotham’s magisterial new study of feminist campaigners, activists, pioneers and dreamers at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.
Read Melissa’s latest review, of Maggie Gee’s new memoir My Animal Life in this week’s New Statesman, the review itself rather strangely entitled ‘Greatcoat of Terror.’
Read Melissa Benn’s latest review in the Independent today of two major feminist books; Natasha Walter’s Living Dolls and Kat Banyard’s The Equality Illusion.
Below, three links to Melissa’s latest journalism:
* Opinion piece in this week’s Public Finance on why neither party can win the class war.
* An in depth interview in The Guardian today with Mary Foley, an extraordinary woman, who has forgiven her daughter’s killer.
* A review in this week’s New Statesman on Kate Figes’s latest book on modern coupledom.
Last night I watched an amazing film, The Edge of Heaven, a Turkish German co-production about six characters in contemporary Europe, several of them first and second generation immigrants, whose lives become entangled and whose fates mirror each other in various clever, poignant ways.
There are some unbearably sad moments: a mother and daughter, both searching for each other, pass on a motorway; one, in a bus, the other in a car ( going in different directions.) We know that the mother is soon to die and that the daughter will never find her………..ever.
Over the past forty eight hours, I have watched two glossy, high end Hollywood ‘womens pictures’ : All about Eve, starring Bette Davis and Anne Baxter, made in 1950; the other a 2008 remake of George Cukor’s classic The Women, starring Hollywood royalty of a certain age, including Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Debra Messing,Candice Bergen, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Both films are about love, betrayal, womens’ friendship and professional ambition but one is a classic and the other ……..well,