Books: Recommended

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The Independent Culture
One Art: Selected Letters of Elizabeth Bishop ed. Robert Giroux, Chatto, pounds 25. Moving letters of a great poet. Review by Jamie McKendrick, 30 April.

The Bridge over the Drina by Ivo Andric, tr. Lovett F Edwards, Harvill pounds 8.99. Classic life of a bridge near Sarajevo. Review by Hugo Barnacle, 16 April.

The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker, Allen Lane, pounds 20. Learned and witty analysis of the human urge to talk and write. Review by Robert Winder, 15 April.

Innocents in Africa by Drury Pifer, Granta, pounds 15.99. A tragic but warm evocation of racial bitterness in a memoir of South African childhood in the Thirties. Review by Doris Lessing, 7 May.

The New Italians by Charles Richards, Michael Joseph, pounds 17.99. Sharp odyssey by this paper's former man in Rome. Not reviewed here; elsewhere called 'extraordinary'.