herring fishing, this is more text book than cookbook, and recipes are relegated to short sections at the end of each chapter. Beautifully produced and interestingly written, it delves into the secret delights of Cullen Skink, Crappit Heids and Tweed Kettle.
An insatiable torrent of confessional memories, embracing beautiful. scandalous parents, convent schools, white villas and recipes scribbled on paper tablecloths or wheedled out of great chefs and grandmothers, form this extraordinary, exhausting book, The Food ol Love by Guislaine Morland (Chatto & Windus £11.95). It comes as more of a surprise that Guislaine ever had time to notice what she was eating. than that she now lives in London with her second and third husband.
‘A handbook for the concerned eater‘. this is a weighty tome listing almost everything you would ever think of putting in your mouth. Food Facts by Carl Ann Rinzler (Bloomsbury £13.95) runs the gamut ofedibles from Apple to Yoghurt, (Zloty apparently isn't a Polish soup after all). detailing nutritional information, adverse effects and possible food/drug interactions. Doubtless invaluable for allergy-sufferers, it may replace the Medical Dictionary as a primary source for hypochondriacs.
GAYAND LESBIAN BOOKS
Sigrid Nielsen looks at the best of gay and lesbian books on otter, all oi which are available lrom West and Wilde Bookshop, 25 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, 031 556 0079.
Oscar (Fingal O‘Flahertie Wills) Wilde has finally found the biography he‘s been waiting for. Great lives don‘t always attract great biographers, and when the subject is the best known gay man in the history of the western world, well, don‘t hold your breath. But, thirty years ago, Richard Ellmann embarked on his research — and he’s caught the essence of Wilde as a wit, a sensualist and, as he puts it himself, a modern — a writer whose sense of humour — usually a fragile quality — has survived for a century. 0868! Wilde is a thick and satisfying book which debunks a lot of the old myths but only adds to the legend. (Hamish Hamilton £15).
Katherine Mansfield, on the other hand, wouldn‘t appear to have been nearly so hard done by — it’s just that most of her biographers have been men. Ida Baker, the lifelong friend she called her ‘wife’, did manage a memoir — but it‘s not always reliable. Claire Tomalin, journalist and feminist, has written a new biography which turns up previously unexplored aspects of Katherine’s life as a rebel, writer, and bisexual. Katherine Mansﬁeld: A Secret Life (Viking£l4.95 hardback).
Lesbian and gay fiction is also high
on many publishers‘ autumn lists (though you won't usually find it by that name). The most interesting title this season is Jane Rule‘s Memory Board (Pandora £4.95). Rule is a lesbian writer who deserves to be much better known — author of Desert ot the Heart. the novel which became the basis of the lesbian film. Desert Hearts. Rule doesn‘t write the predictable girl-meets-girl story — she's more interested in the way lesbians collide with, or slip into. what some people call ‘everyday life‘. In Memory Board a retired newsreader contacts his twin sister and her eccentric girlfriend after a lapse of years — and realises that their life makes more sense to him than the ‘normal‘ world whose rituals and disaster he‘s reported for so long.
Another novel from an unexpected quarter is The Real Lite ol Alejandro Mayta by the South American writer Mario Vargas Llosa (Faber £3.95). What makes a revolutionary? Llosa takes us to the world of Latin American violence and deprivation and follows Mayta as he grows up longing for something he calls justice — and for another man as a lover. Faber have also reissued Mae West is Dead: Recent Lesbian and Gay Fiction (£4.95). arguably the best volume of gay short stories ever published.
In a lighter vein is the year‘s most gripping lesbian mystery, Murder at the Nightwood Bar (Pandora £3.95) by Katherine V. Forrest. Forrest writes a lot and never fails to come out with good strong plots and characters. In this new mystery her heroine, Kate Delafield. investigates the murder of a young woman outside the notorious Nightwood. a Los Angeles lesbian bar. A book for anyone who thinks Cagney and Lacey is wonderful as far as it goes.
Gay humour is also on the up and up as seen in The Potts Correspndence by Terry Sanderson (Other Way Press £3.50). Doreen Potts once lived next to Terry — during his northern childhood. When ‘our Gary‘, her son, turned out to be gay. she turned to Terry for desperately needed advice — especially since she has an inimitable talent for getting the wrong end of the stick. Doreen‘s view of gay life is, above everything else, original.
And next year? Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story, a growing-up-gay novel which probably convinced the British publishing industry that ‘gay‘ and ‘bestseller’ could fit together in the same sentence, has written a sequel. He follows his hero to New York - where he learns to crack the timid, conventional shell and become, in that magical gay phrase, a young man. Colourful bohemian and radical characters and episodes the publishers describe as ‘shockingly honest’ are just part of the promise. Edmund White will be appearing at West & Wilde Bookshop, Edinburgh, 21 January, to sign copies of his new book (published by Picador). (Sigrid Nielsen)
SCOTLAND THE WHAT?
Collected Sketches & Songs, Buff Hardie, George Donald & Stephen Robertson.
272 Page illustrated hardback £9.95
The perfect gift for friends at home and abroad
A RICH TREASURY OF HUMOUR FROM THE NORTH-EAST OF SCOTLAND
GORDON WRIGHT PUBLISHING LTD. 25 Mayﬁeld Road, Edinburgh EH9 2N Q
.Cool’s Out Is on sale at all good bookshops. Buy one » early
David 8. Charles
The List 27 Nov — 10 Dec 1987 53