Anna Swan

Anna Swan is on the staff of the LRB.

From The Blog
10 December 2013

In her review of Monopolising the Master, Anne Diebel briefly mentioned my father, Michael Swan. In a 1955 piece for the London Magazine, he’d quoted liberally – and without permission – from James’s letters to the sculptor Hendrik Andersen. The letters were astonishingly candid and indiscreet, and loaded with exclamation marks. It’s also astonishing that the London Magazine and Harper's Bazaar, which reprinted the piece, weren’t sued by the estate.

The Fred Step: Frederick Ashton

Anna Swan, 19 February 1998

Frederick Ashton was an avid gossip, while also dreading the idea that his life – and his homosexuality – might become matters of prurient interest. He claimed to have destroyed all his personal letters, but Julie Kavanagh found he had kept almost every one. Ashton and Kavanagh, who trained with the Royal Ballet and is now London editor of the New Yorker, became close friends towards the end of his life. After his death, as his authorised biographer, she had access to The Box containing the letters, along with copious memorabilia and notebooks on his ballets. Despite his fears, he had prepared the ground well.


What to call her?

8 October 2014

Jenny Diski wonders how she should refer to Doris Lessing, who took her in when she was a teenager (LRB, 9 October). I think the term she is looking for is ‘guardian’, if not quite ‘guardian angel’.

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