o The Originals: Who’s Really Who in Fiction William Amos (Cape £12.95) An expose’ of the roman a clef. Sally Bowles was inspired by the daughter of a Scottish cotton merchant. Walter Mitty — said Thurber — was every other man he‘d known, and Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout‘s rotund sleuth was the well-dined New Yorker Alexander Walcott. Strangely, there‘s no mention of models for Jean Brodie. Holden Caulfield or the bear in The World According to Corp. 0 In Custody Anita Desai (Penguin £2.95) Shortlisted for the Booker. Deven, a mediocre college lecturer, is asked to interview India‘s greatest living poet. As he finds out. sometimes it‘s better to read the poems and forget the person behind the pen. 0 A Light in the North: Seven Years with Aberdeen (Mainstream £4.95) or, :not so quiet ﬂow the Dons. Timely iinsight into the most successful imanagership in recent times. 0 A Feminist Dictionary Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler (Pandora £14.95) A key to Spare Rib. As traditional as the OED it quotes liberally to illustrate definitions. Thus ‘Um‘ is a ‘lover or partner whose name is not known to the speaker who says “And please be sure to bring your um“.‘ Unrivalled scholarship. O The Switch Elmore Leonard (Penguin £1 .95) Sour tale of kidnap and double-cross with romantic interludes. Whatever did Time mean by describing Mr Leonard as ‘the hottest thriller writer in the US?‘ 0 Stevie: A Biography of Stevie Smith (Heinemann £15) Are we alone in finding childhoods boring? Stevie Smith once said that a sickly one was essential for a future writer. In her anecdotage she was one of the
~ wittiest writers of the century.
0 The Proiessor of Desire Philip Roth (Penguin £3.95) Verbal and sexual acrobatics as young academic David Kepesh feels his way in the world.
1 The gropes of Roth?
0 In Bed with an Elephant P. H. Scott (Saltire Society £2) Polemical
pamphlet which looks at Scottish co-habitation with the English.
Lucid, concise and intelligently
o Flashman and the Dragon George MacDonald Fraser (Collins Harvill £9.95) The eighth volume of memoirs by everyone‘s favourite cad. Sir Harry Flashman VC. His latest adventure takes him to China,
where he bullies, cowers and lies his way through the Taiping Rebellion. emerging as usual covered in glory.
imam i9 Nov — '1'2 Dec
0 The Diaries oi Jane Sommers Doris Lessing (Penguin £3.95) First published as two novels under a pseudonym, The Diaries caused a rammy in Bedford Square when Ms Lessing‘s usual publishers admitted rejecting them. With hindsight it seems a clever hype. How else do you sell a depressing (but well-written) novel about a fashion journalist coping with a nonagenarian's incontinence?
o Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas Maya Angelou (Virago £3.95) More sweet than bitter third volume of memoirs from the authoress of] Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
0 Scottish Duotations Compiled by Alan Bold (The Mercat Press £9.95) An eclectic collection of unmemorable words with a bias towards the derogatory.
o Scotch and Water Neil Wilson (Lochar Publishing £7.95) Do we really need another book about whisky? Neil Wilson‘s restricts itself to the Inner Hebridean malt whisky distilleries on Islay, Jura, Mull and Skye and describes itself as a companion for the visitor to Scotland and essential reading for the whisky enthusiast. I suspect the whisky enthusiast will already know the basic techniques and will have encountered the anecdotes liberally scattered through the text. but as a
companion for the tourist visiting the
islands or someone by the ﬁreside sampling the subject matter, it will be both useful and interesting. The book is illustrated with drawings, maps, old and new photographs and does not reﬂect the bias suggested by the ‘grateful acknowledgement‘ of the publishers to Charles Mackinlay & Co Ltd (Isle ofJura Distillery) and Stanley P. Morrison Ltd (Bowmore Distillery). (Ian Wright)
0 Ian Hamilton Finlay - A visual primer Yves Abrioux (Reaktion Books £24) (£21.60 at the Graeme Murray Gallery during the exhibition). Revolutionary? Poet? Sculptor? Landscape Gardener? Ian Hamilton Finlay, unloved by Strathclyde Regional Council and the Scottish Arts Council, better appreciated in France, Germany and Holland, than here on our own doorstep;
surrounded by a poet‘s garden the
like of which has not been seen since
T the days of Alexander Pope; maybe, i at last, is getting the acclaim he deserves.
For those who already know his
I work the book is an excellent
summary of work to date; for those who don‘t, there couldn‘t be a better introduction. The book is bdautifully
produced, with hundreds of illustrations, photographs and reproductions of his graphic work. Recognition is given to all the numerous printers, carvers, artists. sculptors, photographers. etc, and his wife, who have collaborated with him. The book traces in graphic detail his changing preoccupations with Fishing Boats, Sundials. the Second World War, Neoclassicism, etc, which have intrigued, shocked. and inﬂuenced his followers.
The exhibition in the Graeme Murray Gallery is not as monumental as that in The Tale. but it will give anyone a good idea of his current range, even if it cannot give the dramatic juxtapositions afforded by the huge Rothko painting in The
Tate. The work goes from cards,
photographs, posters. ﬂags and carvings to the black altar with the Stones with the names of the members of the Scottish Arts Council, which were carved day-by-day as the SAC failed to give advice to Strathclyde on the rating issue. As usual, the craftsmanship is superb and the lettering some of the best to be seen. The ideas. metaphors, puns, and associations are as rich as the emotional and expressive sincerity of his writings. The book will also appeal to anyone interested in gardens and landscapes; there probably isn‘t anywhere more important in Britain.
1 ifnot further. However, the garden
is closed till the cessation ofThe
; Little Spartan War, the debilitating
' dispute demonstrating on the one
hand the artistic and cultural poverty of Regional and Central Governments, and on the other, the high principles and persistance of Ian
'. i 1" . l L, ii 7.; -’
‘t ; I J”?!
Hamilton Finlay which will also be made plain to anyone reading the book or visiting either Exhibition. The next Exhibition is in Vienna, and commissions for gardens have been given by Luton and San Diego. Commissions for gardens in Scotland at Peterhead and the ‘Festival Square‘, Edinburgh, have come to nothing. but other gardens have been made in Stuttgart, Germany, and Otterlo and Kroner-Muller in Holland. (Benjamin Tindall) o Reliections on the French Revolution Graeme Murray Gallery, 15 Scotland Street, Edinburgh. Until Sat 21 Dec. 0 Turner Prize Display The Tate Gallery. Millbank, London. Until Sun 1 Dec. 0 The Awakening of George Darroch Robin Jenkins (Waterfront £8.95) Unlike the osprey Robin Jenkins is not a member ofan endangered species, but he would like to be. He is a Neglected Author. Ignored by his peers and curtly dismissed by critics, only a clutch of his twenty or so novels are in print. Disillusioned, he has four more keeping company with mothballs in a drawer somewhere in Dunoon.
This is a rum state ofaffairs for, as he reveals in this new book, Jenkins often writes like an angel though, when he has the devil in him, he tends to over-indulge his caustic wit. The A wakening of George Darroch is an historical novel set at the time of
. the Great Disruption in 1843 when a group of renegade ministers, g protesting against the law which
allowed landowners to override a congregation‘s wishes and instal any 3 minister they chose in a church
standing on their land, broke away