There has been a trend in fourth-wave feminism for exploring the stories of women overlooked by history; but almost 40 years before Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Top Girls did it, for grownups. Caryl Churchill’s 1982 play, now revived at the National Theatre by Lyndsey Turner, is perhaps best known for its opening scene – a Saturday night dinner party featuring Pope Joan, Lady Nijō, Dull Gret, Isabella Bird, Patient Griselda and a Thatcherite recruitment manager called Marlene. It’s a genius opener, a dreamlike sequence in which the women share their tales of suffering and patriarchy, poignantly but also hilariously, as they proceed to get more and more wasted on Frascati. It’s very, very funny. It sticks the knife in while you’re laughing, off-guard, and then twists it. … [Read more...] about Fourth-wave feminism can learn a thing or two from the 1980s play Top Girls
She also asks how 10 people who sleep in one hut will socially distance; how women will cope with abusive men being around all the time; how refugees who live closely together and pastoralists who know no life other than that of moving from place to place with their animals will get by. On the day the government gave the first directive to close schools and implement social distancing, Betty Lukriyana, who lives in a fenced homestead of 34 families in Karamoja, one of the poorest regions in an already poor country, had never heard of coronavirus. She is hardly alone. … [Read more...] about We Ugandans are used to lockdowns and poor healthcare. But we’re terrified
21 December Despite the growing unrest, tens of thousands of people are bussed to Bucharest’s Palace Square to hear Ceaușescu give his annual speech. However, they begin to chant “Timișoara! Timișoara!”. A shocked Ceaușescu calls over the speakers for the crowd to remain in place, and offers to raise salaries. But his authority is dissipating and the televised images reveal his weakness to the whole country. Crowds flood the city centre and are met with force by the army. … [Read more...] about Thirty years on, will the guilty pay for horror of Ceaușescu orphanages?
After a colourful introduction to the 'black Douglases', Murray's well-researched account soon has us in the thick of the affair, and by telling it from Douglas's point of view, the author gives us an illuminating new angle, especially on Bosie's sexuality. An early experimenter with his own sex, Douglas came to Magdalen as the leader of 'the cause', a campaigner by default. Yet he would turn both straight and Catholic post-Wilde. Indeed, it increasingly seems as though it was both protagonists' heterosexuality which proved their downfall. … [Read more...] about He betrayed Wilde. But that wasn’t the worst thing Bosie did
Written by Beckett between August 1935 and June 1936 and held by a private collector since the late 1960s, the Murphy manuscript is described by Sotheby's as "the most important Beckett manuscript ever to have been offered on the open market", and "capable of redefining Beckett studies for many years to come". The auction house has put a guide price of £800,000 to £1.2m on the manuscript, which is "substantially different" from the final version of the novel, published in 1938, and expects fierce interest from both institutions and private collectors. … [Read more...] about Samuel Beckett manuscript offers ‘intimate’ look into his mind