ecological and cultural shifts under industrialisation.
But. as the title suggests. his pivotal concern is the region‘s inner reality, composed of ‘people‘s desires and aspirations. . . as much a part ofthe land as the wind.‘ Adding his own acute observations and insights to the visions and beliefs of Eskimos and explorers through the ages. he brings the area alive as a land ofhidden tenderness as well as
harsh bleakncss. This is a remarkable.
unsentimental portrait. a celebration of an innocent. fragile and misunderstood country and culture. Conjuring its spirit with an almost religious intensity. Lopez transcends the genre of travel writing. spiralling his work into the realm ofpersonal and persuasive philosophy. (Rosemary Goring)
_ JUST PUBLISHED
o The Diversions ol Purley Peter Ackroyd (Hamish Hamilton £8.95) The renowned biographer ( T. 5. Eliot) and novelist (Hawksmoor) turns his dab hand to poetry in his first collection since 1978. The verbojuices ﬂow inventively and engagineg enough ifon occasion without the elegance of his prose. O Abba Abba Anthony Burgess (Faber £2.95) John Keats (‘jun kets‘ — geddit'?) without his Flann O‘Brien confrere Chapman teams up with Roman poet Guiseppe Belli in a speculative novel based around their imaginery meeting. Briefly brilliant. o The Three Miss Kings Ada Cambridge (Virago £3.95) More Austen than Bronte Australian novel concerned with social niceties. the getting of men and the search for independence. Three orphaned sisters move from the sticks to Melbourne where they are initiated in ‘life. and love. and trouble. and etiquette among city folks.‘ First published in 1891, the print hasn‘t improved with age. 0 Jackdaw Norman Lewis (Penguin £3.95) Already an esteemed journey man (‘the greatest travel writer alive, if not the greatest since Marco Polo‘ — so sayeth Auberon Waugh) and novelist. Lewis maintains the high standards he has set for himself in this autobiography: an engaging journey of self-discovery distinguished from the rut of reminscences by the bizarre circumstances ofhis Welsh upbringing. psychic times in England and marriage into the Mafia (Siciliam not Bloomsbury). comedy is never very far away but Lewis‘s strength is his style and an ability to shoo the story along without stinting on description. 0 Egypt Derek and Julia Parker (Cape £6.95): and Crete John Bowman (Cape £7.95) Two genuinely pocket-sized guide books in the venerable Trat'ellers' Guides series. Egypt is a completely new title which is perhaps why it is slighter than the more mature and
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Caryl Phillips was lumlng and even a glass ol Doric lager could not douse his ire. He'd been on his way back by plane to London after a sojourn in his native West Indies when he read a review at his book The European Tribe in the Observer. It was not, to be blunt, complimentary. As a consequence Caryl Phillips was reeling ‘pissed ott’. Jonathan Raban, messer about in boatsand occasional reviewer had, he telt, tried to see his book as a contributtion to the ever-burgeoning library at travel literature. Caryl was adamant: ‘He couldn't categorise the damn book. It's partly travel, it’s partly autobiography, partly polemic, partly sociology. The easiest thing for Baban to do was to look at it as a travel book which it doesn’t pretend to be. It’s a different kind otwriting. It’s ioumalism.’ I’d go along with that. Caryl Phillips doesn’t look to me like the sort ol chap who goes in search of lost tributaries ot the Amazon or crosses the Himalayas on roller skates though he describes himsell as a ‘sell-sutlicient‘ traveller. He doesn’t travel tor travel's sake and his journeys round Europe simply provided the framework tor his book. ‘Travel gave it a narrative spine,‘ he says and is not ashamed to admit that, ‘about 50% at the book could have been written at home.’ By the time he‘d finished picking sores and sounding oil and being treated like ‘a freak ora mass-murderer' he was convinced that racism is alive and well and lesterlng through Europe. No wonder he came back thinking. ‘I’ll nevertravel anywhere again. I was led up with hotels and airports, led up with trains and buses and living out at a suitcase. I hated being in places where I didn‘t know the language and going into restaurants and asking for a table lor one. lthought, in luture, I’d stay in one place.‘ Wherever he went doors were
plumper (.‘rete. Both are good and lucid historically but the Cretan volume is superior on local details and contemporary mores.
0 A Perfect Spy John le Carré (Coronet £3.50) The perfect spy book.
_ ALTERNATIVE BESTSELLERS
Compiled bythe First at May and Lavender Menace Bookshops.
1. The Iron Ladies Beatrix Campbell (Virago £4.95) Edwina (‘urrie and your next-door neighbour. The strange story of the Tory woman.
2. Burning Houses Andrew Harvey (Flamingo £3.50) Witty and moving story about the bizarre world of an ageing film director.
3. Happy Edges Nicozake Shange (Methuen £3.95) Her poems ‘should happen to you like cold water or a kiss.‘ Uplifting poems from the author of the wonderful .S‘assafras C "vpress A m1 Indigo.
4. No Word From Winilred Amanda
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slammed in his lace, customs men stopped and searched him, government officials laughed oft the National Front (despite statistics indicating its increasing popularity) and ham Glbraltarto the USSR, with stopovers in most other parts at Europe, he encountered hostility because of the colour of his skin. It is a sad, sad tale and a salutary one, but at the end at it all you can't help liking
(‘ross (Virago£3.95) Feminist thriller featuring Kate Fangler. an Eng Lit professor when not a private detective.
5. The Civil Liberties ot the Zircon Attair PeterThornton (NCCL 95p) They won‘t let you see the film but they can‘t stop you reading the book!
6. The Year Lert 2: Toward a Rainbow Socialism Mike Davis. Manning Marablc era] (Verso £8.95) Reagan‘s America six years on. Is this the end of Jesse Jackson's rainbow dream? The essential guide.
7. Sisters oi the Road Barbara Wilson (Women’s Press £3.95) Teenage prostitutes to the
Caryl Phillips who even had the good sense to turn down an evening in the company of James Baldwin and Miles Davis ratherthan appear a groupie. That’s what I call sell-denial.
The European Tribe is published by Faber priced £7.95. Caryl Phillips second novel, A State 0t Independence, has recently been published by Faber in paperback, priced £3.95. (Alan Taylor)
Nicaraguan coffee harvest: a feminist sleuth investigates in a sequel to the classic lesbian thriller Murder in the ( 'ollt’t'tive.
8. The Butch Manual Clarke Henley (Gay Presses NY £5.95) Vol 2: The Sundance Manual. coming shortly.
9. Food Irradiation: The Facts Tony Webb and Dr Tim Lang (Thorsons £1.99) Fallout-sprinkled food or a new revolutionary way of preparing meat and two veg'.’ An expert analysis.
10. The Garden God Forrest Reid (Brilliance Books £3.50) Novel of boyhood love by a contemporary of Forster and James.
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The List 20 March — 2 April 43