commendable cotnplement to the author's political w riting on South Africa. ((‘atriona ()ates)
WAXING 0N WAYNE
John Wayne My Liie With The Duke Pilar Wayne with Alex 'l'horleifson (New English Library £12.95) Solid biographical portrait of the screen legend and super-patriot by his third and longest-serving wife. Peruvian Pilar Pallette. Describing Wayne in the dedication as ‘the most admirable human being I have ever met' hardly inspired expectations of an impartial rendition of their twenty-five years together but. laudably. this is an admiring and balanced account of the man behind the myth rather than bland hagiography.
L'mlerstamlably sketchy on the period before they met in I952. the book offers fresh insights into Wayne's character. the Svengali-likc professional and personal influence ofJohn Ford. Wayne‘s stunted emotional growth. his tempestuous affair with Marlene Dietrich. his fierce loyalty to America as an atonement for his guilty absence from World War Two combat. his prodigious capacity for liquor and work and his unashamed male chauvinism.
Especially interesting are the later years. when a long and valiant battle with the ‘Big (" forced him to publicly embody the courageous values he had portrayed but at a cost to his fatnin and self-esteem.
Although shot through with an unnecessary number of misspellings and the odd blatant falsehood. this is a sensible memoir ofone of the Zilth century's celluloid immortals. (Allan llunter)
Saint ('hristine Bell ( Pavanne £3.5(l) An obsessive. irreverent and largely incredulous account of love and death on a Latin American hacienda. with adultery. visitations from a dying matriarch and a central character who contemplates castrating her husband —- all standard events in daily family life. Mainly forgettable but with original touches and sotne hilarious moments. ((‘atriona ()ates)
Head oithe Corner (irace lngolby (Michael Joseph £10.95) In a novel about as clear as a stained—glass window. Ingolby begins by waxing spiritual in her prologue. It‘s a beautiful and appropriate start fora work that focuses on its nebulous characters‘ quest for sanctuary — particularly Nona L'pton‘s. whose annual pilgrimage to the coastline convent of St Dymphna is usually distinctive for its tedium. But this year the spiritual waters swallow up Nona leaving unanswered the question: has she finally found (iod'.’ Needing at least a pound of flesh to pad its baffling bones lngolby's novel
is clever and subtle but so full of paradox and puns that one is left with the suspicion that she is tnore mistress of wit than its master. (Jacques Kerr)
I The Lipstick Circus and Other Stories Brian Mc(’abe (Mainstream £3.95) Mc( ~abe has the versatility of a ventriloquist and in this his first collection olsiorics - published in hardback in 1985 — his range is astonishing.
I Look Homeward David llcrbert Donald (Bloomsbury £12.95) Appropriately. a chunky biog of Thomas Wolfe (not of Radical (‘hic fame) who it was said delivered his manuscripts to his publishers in a truck and. after they'd been edited. took them away by taxi. They were still huge books and Donald — zealous. diligent and not over-awed by his gangly subject — reproduces a cartoon in The Saturday Review of literature of reviewers picketing the publishers of the 500,000 word epic ()f'l'imc and the River.
I The Enigma oi Arrival \18. Naipaul (Penguin £4.95) ()ddly. eerily. reminiscent of(}eorge (iissing’s The Private l’apers ofllenry Ryeeroit. this is the celebrated 'l‘rinidadian writer's most linglish novel and perhaps his most personal. intimately concerned with the Wiltshire countryside — its people. capricious weather and the cycle of the seasons. But it is also an inward book. a contemplation of writing. gloweringly pessimistic but with shafts of brilliant sunlight. and quite unclassifiable.
I The Collected Stories at Tennessee Williams (Picador £6.95) ()nce Williams asked (iorc \"idal to fix a story for him. Vidal obliged and ‘reversed backward-running sentences. removed repititions. simplified the often ponderous itnages.‘ 'l‘W was not amused. ‘What you've done is remove my style.‘ he said. 'which is all I have.’ Style he has aplenty btit there’s much more to him than that. Though not a great short story writer. like Maugham he has his own individual tone and a brooding sensuality. 'l’he fifty stories in the present volume are said to be much more autobiographically accurate than William’s Memoirs.
I Robert the Bruce: King of Scots Ronald McNair Scott ((‘anongate £5.95) Splendidly readable and informed account of the life and times of the national hero. guerrilla warrior. military tactician and entomologist.
I Irish Miles Frank ()‘Connor (Hogarth £5.95) Pedalphile‘s journey through Ireland in 19-10: recondite. outraged. perceptive and desperately funny.
I A Winter's Tale Fraser l larrison (Flamingo £3.95) lntensely felt. occasionally self-conscious and over-poetic account of a marriage on the rocks and a father’s frank record of the pains of parenthood and his attempt to lift ‘the lid ofchildhood's mind.‘
_ gmfﬁz‘t —-—-" 7
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The List 1 - 14 April litss‘ 51