The tale is a memorial to the old order and in particular to Horia El-Gharib. his widowed mother, unquestioning in her faith and unwavering in her duty. Barred by tradition from acquiring knowledge herself. she has worked and traded with ferocious determination to educate her sons. that they may further the salvation of their souls. Such rigid, ignorant beliefis. as ever. ultimately destructive. so that when she stands firm to defend her ancient land from the current President. those sons educated. exiled. lost to the faith and married to Infidels are not at hand to save and to support her.

A beautiful book even in English. the translation conveying the tone of the original. (Sally Macpherson)


I Crucible of Fools M. S. Power (Hamish Hamilton £12.99) 1 lost sleep over this book: priceless hours ofslumber wasted in gruesome flashbacks. thanks to Mr Power‘s disturbing imagination.

In simple prose light. attractive and uncontrived he burrows like a lively maggot into the recesses of a madman‘s mind. and spews out not only his thoughts. but his vile habits and crazed behaviour.

Dan Loftus was not always mad. He started as a happy husband. father ofa toddler. a proud Irish farmer. reknowned for his gentleness. But the slimy slope to barbaric insanity begins with his wife's suicide. following the death of their child (retarded. incidentally).

At first Dan is treated by locals as a simpleton. a figure of mild amusement. pity and some affection. His savaging to death of a circus ape. however. brings him a degree of respect. heightened into loathing and fear by his accidental killing of the village priest. Duffed up and derided. he retreats from society. From now on it’s a battle of lost wits against the crowd.

Dan's revenge is memorable. not just for the villagers. but for Power‘s mesmerising effect on the reader. There follows a catalogue of inventive violence. each event further emphasising the poor man‘s derangement. Murder and abduction. rape and more killing spread through this tale like gangrene. By the end. we may have an insight into a sick mind (Dan‘s. not necessarily Power’s). but I need convincing that the best illumination of the psyche, whether of an isolated country community, or of a lunatic. is through a merciless inventory of cruelty. (Rosemary Goring)


I THE INTERNATIONAL FICTION PRIZE Now in its second year and with a £25,000 first prize at stake. the 1990 shortlist is:

Afiiiction Russell Banks, Possession


A. S. Byatt. Amongst Women John McGahern and Friend ofMy Youth Alice Munro. The winner will be announced on 1 October with prizes presented by the President of Ireland. Dr Patrick Hillery. on 19 Oct.


I JOHN SMITH 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472.

$316 12.30pm. Hannah Hauxwell will be in the shop to sign copies of her new book. Daughter ofthe Dales (Century. £14.99).

Thurll 1pm. Ian Hamilton. OC will sign copies of his book A Touch of Treason (Lochar. £ 10.95) which was recently serialised in the Glasgow Herald.

I VOLUMES 63—65 Queen Street. 226 5762/3.

$816 I lam. Christopher Audry. creator ofThomas the Tank Engine will be in the store as part of Children‘s Book Week.

I THIRO EYE CENTRE 346—354 Sauchiehall Street. 332 0522.

Fr16 and Sat 7 7.30pm. £4 (£2.50). Afro-American poet. actor and rap artist Kain. founder ofrap groupThe Last Poets. is joined by Flemish dancer and choreographer Boris Gerrets to present Turner. an autobiographical account of Kain‘s life as paralleled with that of’l‘urner. a slave preacher and visionary who led the first organised black rebellion in the USA in 1831.

I WATERSTONE'S 132 Union Street. 221 0890.

Thurs" 7.30pm. Alice Munro will read from and sign copies of her short story collection Friend ofMy Youth (Chatto and Windus. £13.99) which has been shortlisted for the International Fiction Prize.

Tues 9 7.30pm. Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway. editors ofNew Writing Scotland 8 (Association for Scottish Literary Studies. £5.95) will be joined by selected contributors to talk about and read from their work. I MIOLOTHIAN LIBRARIES FESTIVAL Full programme details are available from all libraries in the district or by post from Midlothian District Libraries HQ. 7 Station Road. Roslin. EH25 9PF.031440 2210. Included are book events as follows: Fri 28 Dalkeith Community Centre. White Hart Street. 663 2083/660 6818. 6.30pm. Free. Inter—Branch Children‘s Quiz. An annual battle which always provides an exciting evening.

Sat 29 Bonnyrigg Library, Polton Street. 031 667 6362. 2.30pm. Free. Readers Unlimited Presentation. Hugh Scott will make the presentation and tell a story. to children who have taken part in the summer reading scheme. James Thin will also run a childrens' book stall. Tues 2 Roslin Library. 7 Station Road. 031 440 2210. 7.30pm. Ticket only. available free from Roslin Library. Rennie McOwan, author. broadcaster and hill-walker explores Scotland’s countryside in an


"Thomas the Tank Engine" books

(Heinemann) who will be sto tellin on Saturday 6th ctober

in Volumes Bookstore at 11 a.m.

Come and hear about Thomas the Tank En gine’s latest adventures

Under 10 event


63-65 Queen Street, Glasgow tel: 041-226 5762


/V\7 \





The Editors Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway and selected contributors will be at the shop to talk about and read from their work


Wine will be served

132 UNION ST., GLASGOW G1. TEL. 041 221 0890

The List 28 September— I I October 199087