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Too much Plato?

Iris Murdoch has been a unique presence in British intellectual and literary life. Lesley Chamberlain says she has tried to teach us good and beautiful things, but fears that her legacy will be slight
Lesley Chamberlain  

Just like a woman

Why do we need a women-only prize for fiction? Women may write differently but in great writing gender is transcended and women writers must now insist on its irrelevance
Lesley Chamberlain  

Unbearable slowness

Communism in eastern Europe created a unique literary-philosophical tradition. Lesley Chamberlain surveys this tradition both before and after the collapse of communism. She prefers Ivan Klima to Milan Kundera, but likes Christa Wolf best of all
Lesley Chamberlain  

The black diamond

Black truffles are a rare, mysterious and expensive delicacy. Lesley Chamberlain visits the truffle's home ground in Provence and discovers that hunting it is better than eating it
Lesley Chamberlain  

Russia’s “Fleurs du Mal”

Contemporary Russian literature is suffering an identity crisis. Lesley Chamberlain describes how post-Soviet writers are struggling to escape the legacy of both 20th century repression and 19th century masters
Lesley Chamberlain