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Late reading with Clive James

One consolation of being ill is that it allows plenty of time for reading. Clive James tells us what’s been keeping him entertained—from French lovers to warring dons
ILLUSTRATION BY ANDRÉ CARRILHO

I’m already well along with writing my latest volume of autobiography, but just in case this one proves to be my last it might be wise to get a few paragraphs finished now with which to clinch the story.

For the last two weeks at Addenbrooke’s Hospital I’ve been undergoing a daily course of radiotherapy by which Madame Curie’s magic waves were dealing with possible residues of a deepish skin cancer beside the socket of my single fully functioning eye. The prognosis was good, but as one lay there supine under the beam of silence it was hard not to be assailed by suspicions that the relevant side of one’s face was being transformed into a replica of the A-bomb test site at White Sands, New Mexico in 1945. A nuclear strike so close to one’s line of sight is hard to laugh off.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s March issue: Gaby Hinsliff explains why all sides of the Brexit debate feel like they’re losing. She says that the Brexit war has raged on for two and half years and disfigured British politics in the process, leaving Remainers in mourning and Leavers crying betrayal. Elsewhere in the issue: James Ball, Martin Moore and Barbara Speed examine how we should be less worried about the tech giants Facebook, Amazon and Google and more worried about the data they hold about us. Ball argues that breaking up these huge companies isn’t the answer; Moore asks what would happens when a tech giant wants to run a smart city, and Speed looks at the increasing trend of tracking everything in our daily lives from the amount of water we drink to how many notifications we receive to our smartphone. Also, Rachel Sylvester profiles Sajid Javid, the Cabinet minister positioning himself for the top job.