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Edited by Jeffrey Eugenides. Bloomsbury, 2002, pp 529, £7.99 (US$15 (approx.); (€12 (approx.)), paperback. ISBN 0747561621

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In my current hospital the library has recently opened a humanities section. To escape the drier journals on offer I visited the new bookcase out of curiosity. With a holiday coming up I thought there might be a book for emergency usage should it pour with rain. The title on the spine suggested a guide to the Home Counties or a history of cricket—but the picture on the front cover of a mandrake prompted a closer inspection.

A story based …

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