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David Isaacs
David Isaacs has recently completed a PhD about the ethics of rewriting at UCL. He is coming to the end of a first novel and is at the early stages of a new project about the present tense.


Articles Available Online


Interview with Namwali Serpell

Interview

December 2020

David Isaacs

Interview

December 2020

Namwali Serpell is a rarity: an academic and novelist whose criticism is as vital as her fiction. Since we first spoke, in September 2020,...

Book Review

June 2018

Christine Schutt’s ‘Pure Hollywood’

David Isaacs

Book Review

June 2018

There is a certain kind of American novelist of the late twentieth century whose fiction fetishises plant names. The...

Three of Ngozi Onwurah’s exceptional shorts were screened at the fifteenth London Short Film Festival this January Ngozi was a member of the late 1980s avant-garde, making socio-political films about the experiences of marginalised people She was also the only Black British female filmmaker to have a feature film – Welcome II the Terrordome (1995) – released in UK cinemas for a long damn time   My favourite of the three was The Body Beautiful (1991), a deeply empathetic exploration of the relationship between physical disability and sexuality, aided by extraordinary aesthetic imagery Neither documentary nor fiction, the film opens with the shot of a white mother and black daughter, naked and embracing Ngozi casts Sian Ejiwumi-Le Berre as her teenage self, and her real mum, Madge Onwurah, in the lead role The young Ngozi is working as a fashion model, and she is forced to conform to the stereotype of the highly sexualised black woman on set – her photographer calls for her to give ‘sex’ and ‘passion’ Madge has lost a breast to cancer and suffers from rheumatoid arthritis While Ngozi possesses a casual confidence, and is realising her sexual appeal as a young mixed race woman, Madge is experiencing post-surgery anxiety Part way through the film, a scene of a tender, uninhibited, erotic fantasy between Madge and a young black man is a reminder that disability does not erode sexuality It’s beautiful and I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this on screen, ever   At the close of The Body Beautiful, the shot of mother and daughter embracing is repeated Only once we’ve witnessed the intertwining of their experiences does the full significance of this embrace become clear – it carries the weight of inclusion and exclusion, of a mother and daughter, each gifted with something the other cannot access   Coffee Coloured Children (1988) takes a gruelling look at growing up mixed-race in 1980s England It begins pleasantly, with archive footage of people of various ethnicities, accompanied by the fitting Blue Mink song ‘Melting Pot’ – but the tone shifts very quickly The voices of two children, a brother and sister, narrate

Contributor

August 2014

David Isaacs

Contributor

August 2014

David Isaacs has recently completed a PhD about the ethics of rewriting at UCL. He is coming to the end...

Prize Entry

April 2017

Pylons

David Isaacs

Prize Entry

April 2017

Once upon a time, Dad would begin, I think, focusing on the road, there was a man called Watt....

Seasickness

Prize Entry

April 2016

David Isaacs

Prize Entry

April 2016

‘How would you begin?’   She puts a finger to her lips, a little wrinkled still from the water, and hesitates. She says, ‘Maybe:...
How things are falling.

Prize Entry

April 2015

David Isaacs

Prize Entry

April 2015

i.   Oyster cards were first issued to members of the British public in July 2003; by June 2015 they will have been replaced...
by Accident

fiction

April 2014

David Isaacs

fiction

April 2014

[To be read aloud]   I want to begin – and I hope I don’t come across as autistic or anything like that (and...

READ NEXT

Art

May 2015

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

E-E

Art

May 2015

Madder than the World is a series by Russian artist (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, who came to prominence as a founding member of the...

Interview

Issue No. 1

Interview with Manfred Mohr

Alice Hattrick

Interview

Issue No. 1

Lines of varying thickness rotate on black. On the screen beside, tilted away from the first, is a slide...

fiction

April 2013

The Taxidermist

Olivia Heal

fiction

April 2013

I did not want to walk. The day was dull. But imperative or impulsion pushed me out, onto the...

 

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