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American Voice
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Listening to Mark Lawson's excellent Capturing America on Radio 4, I'm in love with Kurt Vonnegut all over again. So it goes. No future in a relationship with a writer, alive or dead. It's not just about his work - something about the voice, the warmth, the intelligence. Same listening to all these old guys: Heller, Updike - even Mailer, with whom you would probably have had a bar room brawl - sounds so funny and interesting. The finest of them all though is Gore Vidal. Dry as a martini, sharp as a slice of lemon. He would definitely be at my fantasy dinner party. Obviously, he wouldn't speak to me. I have always loved the American voice, since Little Women. They have hold of some idealised notion of romance and beauty in my head which no amount of rational British cold water can extinguish. Maybe it's a country of outsiders and that's the appeal.

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