Missing library

In her review of Michael Frayn's new novel Headlong (Books, 13 September) Terri Natale asks: "Can a master playwright and skilled columnist produce a successful novel? Can the writer of the award-winning theatrical hits Noises Off and Copenhagen transfer his peculiar talents to another genre?" Well, since his book is now in the Booker shortlist, I presume she feels her question has been answered. But why was it asked in the first place? Surely the author of ten successful novels, including The Tin Men, The Russian Interpreter and A Landing on the Sun, could expect to escape such patronage.

Gerry Madsen
London N10

This article first appeared in the 04 October 1999 issue of the New Statesman, The eminence rouge