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Caroline Graham

The Envy of the Stranger

Century 1984
Jacket design unattributed

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It had taken him a long while to collect the photographs. At first he had not been at all selective. Any well-known face would do. He had even pinned up people famous just for being famous. People like Bianca Jagger. But quite soon that proved to be eminently unsatisfactory. For one thing they were so elusive. You never even saw Bianca Jagger. She was not on television or in the movies. And never on the radio. Occasionally there would be a picture of her at a particular night club or disco with a group of people who weren't famous at all. So Bianca had to go. It gave him a certain amount of pleasure, taking them down from the wall. The ones who hadn't quite made it. He would tear the faces across very slowly once or twice and sometimes he would set fire to the pieces in a saucer, watching a quarter of a smile, a springy curl aligned with a glinting pupil, turn toast brown, then black, then flaky grey.

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