Header overlay

Slightly Foxed Issue 81: From the Editors

In the spring of our twentieth anniversary year we’ve been feeling a little ruminative – looking back on the good times and all the fun we’ve had, but also remembering crises like the Covid lockdowns, when the whole world seemed out of joint, as it surely does at present. At difficult times like these it’s very clear from your messages how much the regular arrival of Slightly Foxed means to you and what a comfort reading and the sharing of reading can be. There’s nothing quite like a friendship formed over books – something Vesna Goldsworthy recalls in her piece on p.19 describing her meetings over many years with the novelist Graham Swift. There was, she says, always a certain reserve between them, but ‘it evaporated when we spoke about books, and those were always the best exchanges’.

This spring we have two particularly cheering reads to share with you. Our new Slightly Foxed Edition, My Salinger Year (see p.13), is Joanna Rakoff’s account of the year she spent working for one of New York’s oldest and most distinguished literary agencies. Fresh out of college, Joanna had no idea what a literary agent was. And though the year was 1996, the agency and its staff were still stuck in a computerless world of filing cabinets and carbon paper, while Joanna’s main task was to answer the mountains of letters addressed to the agency’s most famous author, J. D. Salinger, on an electric typewriter. It was an experience that changed her life, and Rakoff’s description of her green-as-grass younger self struggling with the workings of New York’s most eccentric literary agency is delicious.

For fans of Adrian Bell, there’s the third of our seasonal selections from the weekly column Bell wrote from 1950 to 1980 for the Eastern Daily Press. A Countryman’s Summer Notebook celebrates the arrival of summer in the East Anglian countryside where he settled down to farm soon after the First World War – an experience that produced his much-loved trilogy, Corduroy, Silver Ley and The Cherry Tree. Like the two seasonal selections we’ve already published for Winter and Spring it’s a magical wander through the Suffolk countryside with a companion who knows it like the back of his hand but is always finding something new and unusual to appreciate. The book will be published on 1 May but you can pre-order copies now by ringing the office or visiting our website.

And finally, congratulations to the winner of our fifteenth annual crossword competition, James Baughan, who receives a free annual subscription.

Comments & Reviews

Leave a comment

Sign up to our e-newsletter

Sign up for dispatches about new issues, books and podcast episodes, highlights from the archive, events, special offers and giveaways.