In Wise Children, Dora Chance, an ex-musical hall and variety theatre star, is writing her autobiography on her seventy-fifth birthday. The narrative has the impact of her speaking voice and, as Kate Webb (1994) says, appears to transcend the word processor on which she is writing (pp. 294–295). It positions us as if we were in the audience of a theatre listening to a stand-up comedian: it draws attention to itself, frequently postpones the subject and prods us into attention.
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