Clair Wills is King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at Cambridge. Her latest book, Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain, was shortlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize. (December 2018)

IN THE REVIEW

Prodigal Fathers

Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce

by Colm Tóibín
In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce, Colm Tóibín sketches the lives of three men who talked their memories into their sons’ memories, and so helped father twentieth-century Irish literature.

Family Secrets

Giovanni Bellini: Madonna Adoring the Sleeping Child, early 1460s
My baby’s headstone stands taller than everyone else’s. I mean this literally—it is a great, solid slab of Hornton stone that dwarfs the surrounding memorials in the graveyard in an almost embarrassing way, given his tiny dates: June 19th–20th, 1996. There is a practical reason for this mismatch. When my …