Cohen Claus

Recently went to Kathy’s office for their Christmas party…have I missed my vocation?

Anyway, a very happy Christmas and New Year to everyone who reads this page. Roll on 2016!

By |December 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

Tolstoy – Cromwell – Seoul!

I have just handed back to Random my final revisions for How to Write Like Tolstoy. It seems such a long process, and I am now waiting to see if a British publisher will take the book. But I have been sent a heartening endorsement by Hilary Mantel. She began by asking if I wanted  ‘so vulgar a thing as a quote,’ but then relented and generously continued: ‘This book is a wry, critical friend to both writer and reader. […]

By |December 14th, 2015|0 Comments

At the Cinema, At the Museum

In New York, to Bridge of Spies (watchable, particularly for Mark Rylance, but with some awful sentimental stuff, like one killer line repeated three times, which ruins it) and to Brooklyn, from the Colm Toibin novel, which again had some sentimental moments but which was marvelous. In London, we went to the new Bond film (I thought truly awful, though watchable, but Kathy thoroughly enjoyed it).
Close to our flat was the John Soane museum, which I introduced to the children […]

By |December 10th, 2015|0 Comments


We traveled to London recently to have an early Christmas with the family. Guy has few days off over the New Year, because the Civil Service is like that; and Mary has swapped her festive holiday time with fellow doctors so she can have weekends free for fencing competitions. So we rented a small flat in Holborn and around Thanksgiving Day celebrated with what the children dubbed ‘Cohengiving,’ with balloons, Christmas stockings and as much festive cheer as a drizzly […]

By |December 7th, 2015|0 Comments

RIP One of the World’s Great Men

At the end of last month, my ex-father-in-law Norman Moore died. One of the sadness byproducts of getting divorced from his daughter (back in 1995) was that I was cut off from him and his wife, both of whom I loved, although I did see them occasionally and our relationship remained ever warm. Norman was, quite simply, the most remarkable man I have met, loving and kind and of absolute integrity. It’s difficult to write about him, but the following […]

By |November 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

Life Masters

Last week I went to two events honoring the writing of biography. The first was at CUNY, the City University of New York, where Gary Giddins, himself a distinguished biographer, interviewed Phyllis Rose, author of the award-winning group biography Parallel Lives, as well as lives of Virginia Woolf and Josephine Baker (an unlikely duo). Alsoon the platform was Zachary Leader, who has written a vast biography of Kingsley Amis and also the first volume of an even bigger work, the authorized […]

By |November 20th, 2015|0 Comments

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