0 Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson/Illustrated by Ralph Steadman (Harrap £12.95) lnk-bespattered. X-rated reinterpretation of the classic yarn of greed and gore on the high seas. Even the parrot is malevolent.
LECTURE ROOM, ART GALLERY & MUSEUM, KELVINGROVE. 7.30pm. £1.50(£1 concs). 334 l 131 to book. 0 Photography Tue 22 Oct. The history ofphotography in Glasgow and the City‘s photographic collections. Elspeth King.
0 Labour History Tue 29 Oct. From the Calton Weavers to the Miners Strike.
0 Ted Hughes Poetry reading. Assembly Hall. James Weir Building. University ofStrathclyde. 75 Montrose Street. 7.30pm. £2 (£1.50) fromJohn Smith's Bookshops Mon 21 Oct.
NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTIANDThe WEA has sponsored a series ofinformal guided tours
For further details and fees contact Course Organiser Eunice Wright 556 i 3073 or Christine Farnham 556 8921 ' SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART Belford Road, 556 8921. Sat 19 Oct, 3pm. Free.
0 Max Beckmann Dr Christianh Lcnz. Director. Schack Gallery, Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich, with financial support of the Goethe Institut. Glasgow.
NATIONAL MUSEUMS OF SCOTLAND
Chambers Street. 225 753-1 ext 206. Meet at Museum Talks Assembly Point. Main Hall, unless otherwise stated. Free.
0 The Lennoxlove Tollet Service Fri 18 Oct, 1 lam. A Great French toilet service and its owner. Godfrey Evans.
0 Stones & Stoneworklng Mon 21 Oct. 2pm. Ian Bunyan.
o A Family oi Engineers: the Stevensons Christine Thompson.
0 From Here to Posterlty Thurs 24. Oct, Museum Lecture Theatre. Lothian Street 7.30pm. A selection from the Scottish Film Archive.
0 Furniture Fit for Royalty Fri 25 Oct. 11am. French Furniture ofthe 18th century. Godfrey Evans.
0 Scottlsh Whalers Mon 28 Oct, 2pm. Ian Bunyan.
0 Border Weavers Wed 30 Oct. 2pm. Jenni Calder.
0 Human Lice: An Acquired Taste John '
W. Maunder. Director ofthe Medical Entomology Centre at the University of Cambridge. 0 Meet the Author Fri 25 Oct. Riddlc‘s Court. 322 Lawnmarket. 7.30pm. To mark the re-launch ofthe Edinburgh Branch of the Workers‘ Educational Association. Tom Leonard. well-known poet and writer from Glasgow is the main guest in a varied evening programme. Cheese and wine. £1 at the door. 0 Poetry Reading Sun 27 Oct. Christopher North House Hotel, 6 Gloucester Place. 225 2720. 8pm. Ian Bowman. Jeremy Reed and Ann Gwilt read. Free.
Audrey Thomas, novelist, author of short stories and radio plays is in Scotland for the next nine months filling a fourth role as an ambassador for Canadian writers. Since the seventies the Scottish Arts Council and the Canadian Council have operated an exchange fellowship of authors; this year, iorthe firsttime, Canada is being i represented by a woman. Audrey Thomas has established a reputation in Canada as an author of powerful and Q challengingfiction,butinthiscountry t herwork is almost unknown. This will hopefully be rectified in the near
In the kitchen of the Arts Council flat, her home from home, Ms Thomas moves thoughtfully from one place to another pouring out fresh coffee and talking about places she has lived, her workand her daughters. Hersoft Canadian voice is confident and relaxed and her conversation is full of lively images. She talks about her home on Caliano island, off the coast of British Columbia, and the stunning Madrone trees which grow there. ‘They , have a bright red bark which is always peeling away and underneath is a lime green skin. All that marvellous colour.
She talks about the impact of landscapes experienced in the first five years of life, how these always stay ‘ with you no matter where you live. And she has lived in awide variety of places, New York State, Ghana, Greece, Birmingham, St Andrews and iorthe last twenty years, British Columbia. Her stories reflect this wanderiust, destroying the myth that Canadian literature is ‘all canoes, mountains and trees!‘
Part of her ambassadorial duties will be to explode this tired old prejudice about a country which is ‘a melting pot of cultures and talents’. She intends approaching BBC Scotland with some
of her radio plays, seven of which have already been broadcast by the CBC, perhaps interesting them in doing a Canadian series. It’s an idea which is
long overdue. in the meantime Scottish
readers can look forward to seeing her work in forthcoming issues of Lines and Edinburgh Review.
Three talks have already been arranged, only the beginning ofwhat is going to be a very busy schedule. Audrey Thomas will be speaking in Aberdeen, StAndrews and inverness
and she has already done an interview
on Radio Clyde. She hopes to speak and read to a wide variety of groups while she is here (anyone interested in having her at one of their meetings should contact the Literature Department of the Scottish Arts Council).
Because her books are unavailable in Britain, Ms Thomas istrying to have copies of her Canadian editions for sale at her readings. Her most recent novel Intertidal Lives is still available in hardback, but hershort stories and other novels are in Talonbooks. Beneral and McClelland and Stewart paperback editions. Penguin Canada will be publishing a collection of her short stories in May 1986.
Audrey Thomas's fiction is primarily about women and the ways in which they deal with their experiences. Despite this she is not exactly flavour of the month with feminist publishers but this doesn'tworry her unduly. She reasons, ‘There is a sinistertendency growing among some of the more militant teministpublishers to avoid books which contain children. This is sad because children are so important in many women‘s lives.’ Children are very important characters in her stories, often being the main focus of love, desire and despair. Undoubtedly this stems from the author‘s deep love and respect for her own children and
l l l l l l
In a list of top feminist authors, recently compiled in Canada, Audrey Thomas came very near the bottom. She was in good company—Alice Munro was the last name on the list. Do not, however, be misled by this into supposing thatthe female authors of Canada are a competitive, back-stabbing lot, they are in fact very supportive of one another. Organisations such as the Writers“ Union of Canada and PEN (Audrey Thomas is an active memberof both) workto keep open a healthy network of news and contact— a much needed link in a country so vast and sparsely populated that creative isolation would mean many growing talents would neverstand a chance.
She writes with warmth and insight. never ignoring the foolishness of which women are capable, but also never shunning their strength of love for children and sexual power. There is often a startling intimacy in her work, the tantalising suggestion that we are reading letters meant for a close friend. This is possibly because she enjoys writing letters, to such an extent that ‘. . . I can‘t keep a journal, every time I try i keep wanting to turn it into a letter.‘
This intimacy can become more disturbing if the subject is one that most of us would prefer to avoid; children coping with separation, or sexual advances from their parents' new lovers. This story, ‘Real Mothers', was originally published in (haze/aim and caused the editors to express concern about losing some readers. A justifiably annoyed Ms Thomas
' replied, ‘or it may gain you some!‘ As I
leave she gives me a shy smile and says, ‘Perhaps l shouldn't have said that to them.‘
The List 18—31 October 41