First Person

Short Takes VI

27/12/85 Gaze and Counter Gaze Some weeks ago gentlemanly Stewart asked permission to pass my telephone number to his friend who wanted “professional” advice on the MS of a novel he had written. At 25pp per hour, a 400pp MS asks for sixteen hours of my time, and I have been put in the way of these unwelcome claims to read doorstops of fiction since the success this year of my own, The Man Who Stayed Below. “And candidly, Alan, it might well be more tax-wheeze than literary work.” “Thanks, Stewart.” But Stewart has touched my life kindly at several…

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