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Granta 41: Biography (Granta


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Memoirs of a bootlegger's son, Saul Bellow; starting out in Chicago (Saul Bellow), James Atlas; dreams for hire (Frau Frida), Gabriel Garcia Marquez; when did you last see your father? (Dr Arthur Morrison), Blake Morrison; a very young dancer (Moira), Todd McEwen; the names of women (Virginia Grandbois, Elise Eliza McCloud, Justine Gourneau), Louise Erdrich; the contents of pockets (the Panther Boys, George McAghon, Mrs Cornelius, Miss Wheelan, Marion Hart, Gaspare Candella, Giuseppe Certona and one unidentified), Luc Sante; breaking in (Philip Larkin), Andrew Motion; among the tulips (James Boswell), Richard Holmes; a colossal hoard (the descendants of James Boswell), Ian Hamilton; life and art (Jean Vaublin), John Banville; death of the author (Angela Carter), Lorna Sage.


About half of this volume is devoted to Ian Hamilton's piece about Paul Gascoigne, a British soccer star known to fans and tabloids as ``Gazza,'' and may frustrate those who find the soccer world alien. Hamilton suggests an obsessive fan must be ``part yob, part connoisseur''; however, his energetic catalogue of Gazza's travels and travails lacks sufficient cross-cultural insight for an American audience. More rewarding is Jonathan Raban's deft, ironic travelogue through the Mississippi floods this year; Raban plumbs the interaction between the story-hungry media and the often savvy locals. Other articles belong to the first of a four-part series called ``After the Revolution.'' Timothy Garton Ash provides a brief but penetrating sketch of a prison visit with Erich Honecker, the defensive ex-leader of East Germany. Michael Ignatieff travels to the former Yugoslavia and wonders resonantly about the West's naive assumptions concerning the fall of communism. The issue also includes two pieces of fiction: Ethan Canin's sensitive tale of a family in flux, circa 1973, and Nick Hornby's account of long-lasting adolescent angst over girls. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)

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