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Janette Jenkins

Janette Jenkins

Janette Jenkins is the author of the novels Columbus Day, Another Elvis Love Child, Angel of Brooklyn and Little Bones. Her short stories have appeared in newspapers and anthologies, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2003 she was awarded an Alumni Fellowship by the University of Bolton. She lives in Durham, England.

All Janette Jenkins's books

Latest reviews

  • Oh, how taxing it is to be Noël Coward in his declining years, trundling between two homes in Jamaica with only one servant to pour the brandy. (The other, alas, is off for the week.) Just how taxing? you ask, lifting a skeptical eyebrow. If you are the British wit-of-all-trades...
    — Jan 24 2014
  • When they decided to redo his ancient play "Hay Fever" with Dame Edith Evans, Coward wrote, I am thrilled and flattered and frankly a little flabbergasted that the National Theatre should have had the curious perceptiveness to choose a very early play of mine and to...
    — Jan 8 2014
  • When I was still a teenager and interested in all things theatrical, I had an LP of Noël Coward in Concert that included “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” perhaps the signature song of the British entertainer, playwright, and composer, who would shortly reach the end of his lengthy...
    — Dec 27 2013
  • This short, beautiful novel takes place over a brief period in 1971, as the British playwright and composer Noël Coward, in the final years of his life, suffers from a weak heart and a slipping mind. Having fled both the gray skies and the high taxes of London, Coward spends...
    — Dec 22 2013
  • You know about the season's blockbusters, but if you're looking for something different and exceptional, take a closer look at these small-press gems. This short, sparkling novel from Europa Editions imagines life a few weeks toward the end of the great dramatist Noel...
    — Dec 16 2013
  • This short, sparkling novel from Europa Editions imagines life a few weeks toward the end of the great dramatist Noel Coward's life, with walk-ons from Gielgud, Guinness, Redgrave, and Dietrich. It opens: "The sky is a wavering sheet of blue, and when the lilo stays in one place...
    — Dec 12 2013
  • Normally I loathe it when some famous person of the past is presented in fictional guise: Emily Dickinson, say, or Napoleon, turned into the protagonist of a novel. It seems so presumptuous, an unforgivable invasion of something more elemental than privacy: how the real person...
    — Nov 13 2013
  • From his beloved hillside retreat in Jamaica, super-star novelist Noel Coward and his manservant drink and smoke and grumble their way through delightful memories of glamorous friends, celebrity gone wild and crazy, and a London town that is gone forever.
    — Nov 5 2013
  • This brief, beautifully observed novel finds Noël Coward in his last years, at Firefly, his home in Jamaica, where he died of a heart attack at 73 in the early 1970s. The urbane Coward is the perfect figure to mine for both poignancy and humor at a stage of his life when he...
    — Oct 30 2013
  • Noel Coward’s notoriously pithy comments act as a kind of window onto the renowned British playwright's world. For example, he once remarked that his life was “one long extravaganza.” And on another occasion he called himself "the great celebrated glamorous cookie." This...
    — Oct 11 2013
  • What is it like to grow old and debilitated, to spend days and nights drifting in and out of sleep, dreaming of the past and waking to empty mornings, blank afternoons, desolate evenings? In nursing homes, the elderly slump in their wheelchairs along the corridors, heads turtled...
    — Oct 9 2013
  • A professional dancer from the age of eleven, Noel Coward (1899 – 1973) spent the rest of his life in “show business” as a playwright (of thirty-nine plays), composer (of over three hundred songs and sixteen musicals and operettas), film maker (of fifteen adaptations of...
    — Oct 3 2013
  • For her fifth novel, the British author offers a seductive snapshot of Noël Coward, that consummate man of the theater. Most of the action occurs during one week in 1971. The recently knighted Sir Noël is living in his tiny hilltop retreat in Jamaica, the eponymous Firefly,...
    — Aug 4 2013
  • Shortly before filming Our Man in Havana Alec Guinness was invited to stay at Noël Coward’s Jamaican home, Firefly, in order to get to know his co-star better. “Naturally he chose the dates,” wrote Guinness in his memoirs, “so I found it a little odd to come...
    — Jul 7 2013

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