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Can I speak to

Someone in


Emily Clarkson

(OD 2007)

Simon & Schuster UK


In her series of open

letters, Emily addresses

all manner of subjects and

absurdities that impact

on our modern-day lives.

She unpicks the validity

of notions such as ‘the

thigh gap’; writes a letter

to the cellulite on her

upper thigh; questions

the merciless quotidian

scrutiny of the

Daily Mail


ponders the etymology

of the term ‘plus size’;

considers our unshakeable

obsession with dieting

and assesses why some

of us are still crying in

changing rooms. The

book is based on a series

of blogs written by Emily.


A call out to authors

If you would like your book to be included in

the next issue of The OD, please send a signed

copy to the OD Office. The book will be added

to the OD Library bookshelves in the Quiet

Room in School House.

Our Israeli Diary

Antonia Fraser

(OD 1944)

OneWorld Publications


In May 1978 Harold

Pinter and Antonia Fraser

visited Israel at the time

of the 30th Anniversary of

Independence. It was three

years after they first lived

together; neither had set

foot in Israel before. Over

the two weeks that follow,

the tensions of the period

are painfully visible, the

story of the country is

heard through some of its

most historically significant

sites and touching insights

into Fraser’s and Pinter’s

relationship reveal


Based in Jerusalem,

they toured many of

the country’s historic

sites: from Bethlehem to

the fortress of Masada,

encountering future Prime

Minister Shimon Peres,

Mayor of Jerusalem Teddy

Kollek, Jackie Kennedy

and a long-lost cousin of

Harold’s on a kibbutz. This

diary was kept daily by

Antonia Fraser: featuring

vivid narrative and

descriptions, it is a unique

picture of a time and place

and a touching insight into

15 days in the lives of two

writers, one Jewish, one

Catholic, one a playwright

and one a biographer, who

were also a devoted couple.

The Otherlife

Julia Gray

(OD 1995)

Andersen Press 2016

Ben has a dark gift: he

can see the Otherlife, a

world of ancient Norse

myths, wildness and

danger. It means freedom

from exams, warring

parents, and everyone’s

impossible expectations at

the ruthlessly competitive

Cottesmore House.

Then Ben meets Hobie:

the wealthy class bully,

product of monstrous

indulgence and intense

parental ambition. He’s a

born mischief maker who

always gets away with

it. Hobie has everything

he could possibly want…

Except the Otherlife. He’ll

do anything to be a part of

it. Anything.

Years later, Ben

discovers his beloved

friend and tutor Jason

died in mysterious

circumstances. And he

can’t help but wonder if

his old friend Hobie –

wild, restless, dangerous

Hobie – had something to

do with it.

Julia is a writer and

singer-songwriter from

London. In 2008, Julia

recorded her first solo


I Am Not The Night


Her second solo album


Robbie Bride


Follow Julia on Twitter:


Wish Lanterns

Alec Ash

(OD 1999)

Picador 2016

Young Chinese, offspring

of the one-child policy,

born after Mao and with

no memory of Tiananmen

are the inheritors of a

nation on the rise. They

are destined to transform

both their country and the

world. These millennials

face fierce competition to

succeed. Pressure starts

young. Their road isn’t

easy, their politics isn’t

simple. Their stories are

also like those of young

people all over the world:

moving out of home,

starting a career, falling

in love.

Wish Lanterns


the lives of six people.

Dahai is a military child

and rebel; ‘Fred’ is a

daughter of the Party.

Lucifer is an aspiring

superstar; Snail is a

country boy addicted to

online games. Xiaoxiao is

a hipster from the freezing

north; Mia is a rebel from

Xinjiang in the far west.

Alec Ash, has given us

a vivid, gripping account

of young China as it

comes of age. Through

individual lives,



shows with

empathy and insight the

challenges and wishes that

will define China’s future.

This is Alec’s first book.

The Dragon is keen to keep abreast of published OD writing, books about ODs and of OD interest.

Here are publishers’ descriptions of books received by the OD Office since the last issue of

The OD


Book Shelf

Outlandish Knight

– the Byzantine Life

of Steven Runciman

Minoo Dinshaw

(OD 2002)

Allen Lane 2016

This is a biography of

one of the greatest British

historians - but also of

a uniquely strange and

various man. Voted the




Books of the Year 2016, it

is described as a “dazzling

debut by a writer who has

prodigious gifts but who

also has had the ability

to spot one of the great

biographical subjects”.

This is an extremely

funny book about a

man who attracted the

strangest experiences, but

also a very serious one. It

is about the rigours of a

life spent in the distant

past, but also about the

turbulent world of the

twentieth century, where

so much that Runciman

studied and cherished

would be destroyed.