University of York Grapevine
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This article appears in Grapevine, September 1992.
Wild Swans Wins Top Book Prize
The UK's most valuable book prize, the &163;25,000 NCR Book Award, was won in May by Jung Chang. The award, sponsored by NCR Ltd, the computer manufacturer, is the only major prize specially for non-fiction.
Her book, Wild Swans - Three Daughters of China, previewed in a feature article in Grapevine 4, beat three others on the shortlist, Columbus by Filipe Fernandez-Armesto, Bernard Shaw Volume 3 by Michael Holroyd, and the Whitbread prize winner, A Life of Picasso Volume 1 by John Richardson.
Jung, a Lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies, became the first student from the People's Republic of China to study in Britan when she came to York and was awarded a DPil in 1982. She is currently working on a biography of Mao.
This appeared in the Electronic Telegraph
Take Jack "birch the queers" Straw. He used to be president of the National Union of Students. When I was at York University, anyone who took student politics seriously was a bit of a joke. York was a pretty middle-class establishment, so naturally we were Left-wing. We got involved in student politics to get off with girls. All the prettiest girls were from boarding school and within a couple of months they would have chopped their hair short, joined the Labour Club and, with the confidence that only 19-year-old ex-public-school girls have, would lay down the political line to all-comers. They didn't believe in having steady boyfriends, as this implied being a chap's chattel - which was, of course, fascist - so provided one learnt a few phrases about women's rights, one could happily bed-hop between these gorgeous creatures with impunity.
Needless to say, the Labour Club attracted us like bees round a honey pot, and although we were faintly embarrassed to prance around the streets of York yelling for higher grants - knowing that the Rowntrees workers who cycled past us had wives who sheepishly knocked on our bedroom doors at midday to see if we had bothered to get up yet so they could clean our rooms - the end of the evening with the gorgeous feminist justified the means.
Definitely by Harry Enfield. Entirely his words and copyrighted to the Telegraph Group Limited.