Reviewing Exit Management by Naomi Booth, Nina Allan writes: “In a genre … traditionally … dominated by men, it is particularly gratifying to read a London novel written by a woman” (Review, 23 October). Has she never heard of Maureen Duffy’s London novels, or, in this century, Zadie Smith and the late Andrea Levy?
• I was delighted to read that “guising” is still practised in Scotland (Be ready for digital Christmas, says Scotland’s public health adviser, 22 October), but it is not entirely synonymous with trick or treat. Guising traditionally involved some effort by the participants, eg singing a song or telling jokes, rather than just turning up – an approach that would doubtless win the approval of many government ministers today.
• It’s a bit rich for Bernard Jenkin, a member of the party that frequently accuses its opponents of political opportunism, to say they have “misunderstood the mood of the country” re free school meals (Report, 25 October). Where is Charles Dickens when we need him?
• Is it just me? If I close my eyes when Rishi Sunak is speaking, I hear the voice of ex-chancellor George Osborne.
Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire
• Re Durham student experiences (Letters, 21 October), when I was there in the 70s at a formal dinner, I cut off the nose of the cheese. The way they all started harrumphing, you’d have thought I’d said: “Bollocks to the Queen.”
Keighley, West Yorkshire