Amongst the events. Monday 29 October 10.30a.m. James Drummond reads from Wallace's School Adventures, the story of Glasgow Fire Service's mascot "Wallace". 6—10 years.

Au/d Kirk Museum, The Cross, Kirkintil/och (047 762 01 12 ext. 263)

Tuesday 30 October 1-2p.m.

John Byrne, painter and author of the award-winning BBC TV series Tutti Frutti, signs copies of his new book, the Glasgow-based Country and Western classic Your Cheatin‘ Heart.

Waterstone's, 174-116 George St. Edinburgh (037 225 3436)

Tuesday 20 October 7p.m.

Iain Banks talks about his new novel The Use of Weapons, which explores the universe of the Culture. Free tickets from McDonald Road Library (031 556 5630) and Central Library (031 225 5584) McDonald Road Library, 2 McDonald Fioad, Edinburgh

Monday 29 October 7.30pm.

David Milsted reads from his new novel Market Forces and discusses the art of writing humorous prose fiction. Wine

Sherratt <3 Hughes, 13- 74 Princes St, Edinburgh {031 556 3034)

Wednesday 31 October 7p.m.

Clifford Hanley reads from The Taste of Too Much and talks about “the permanent problem of being young“ Free tickets from Portobello Library (031 669 5115) and Central Library (031 225 5584) Portobe/lo Library, 14 Rosefie/d Avenue, Edinburgh

Thursday 1 November 7.30pm Novelist Anne Fine talks about and signs COpies of her remarkable second book Taking the Devil's Advice Free tickets from South Queensferry Library (031 331 1697) and Central Library (031 225 5584) South Oueensferry Library, 9 Shore Road, South Oueensferi y

for further information. call the SBMG on 031 225 5795

lt' Milsted's novels don’t make you laugh out loud - it’s because you're already crying with laughter!

The Chronicles of Craigiietli

£3.50 paperback

Market Forces

£3.99 paperback 'Evervday tales of fictional shenanigans in a douce wee Perthshire town. Such dry humour that it could

have been written with a styptic pencil.’ GLASGOW' HERALD

Scottish Book Fortnight

Don‘t miss David Milsted reading and talking about his work on Monday. ’29 October at 7.30pm in Sherratl & Hughes. 11l-14l’rini‘es Street, Edinburgh. [£112 2:\.\'.

Out now from Grafton Books!

Grafton Books .4 [)Il‘iSIUtZ of l Iarpcr( Tollinsl’tilrltsliers

" mks

The work of Canadian writer Alice

I acclaim. Her chosen medium —the

r and her style is untashionably (though deceptively) simple. Her stories untold

5 starts to be a complete person, with

haunts, seeking some new

3 understanding ofhim,onlyto find that : other people have rejected orforgotten ; the past she hoped to find. The stories

' reveal,withoutdistortion or

i i

l l

g and situations much of their



Munro is relatively little known in Britain, despite awards, Booker shortlisting and widespread critical

short story— is still, sadly, regarded here as a lesser form than the novel,

slowly, their many strands and layers gradually meshing to produce an immaculately wrought whole. Familiarthemes re-emerge in the new collection— love affairs, marriage, lriendships, family relationships. One character has reached the delicate stage of an affair where a new lover

faults, limitations, past mistakes. Another, visiting an old friend, confronts the stable, settled life she abandoned, accepting her regrets as l the necessary price of freedom. A widow revisits her husband’s wartime

sentimentality, both the uniqueness and universality of everyday expenence.

‘People often ask me why I write about ordinary people,’ she says, ‘and I think, well, who else is there? Whatever people’s occupation, they're apt to face exactly the same, emotionally. Being a writer is a kind of high-profile thing, yet my dealings— with my husband, with my kids are the stuff of so many other lives.‘

The spare precision of Munro‘s writing is what gives her characters

resonance. Each word is in the right place, each descriptive detail contributes to a scene or mood. The prose llows effortlessly, but its crafted smoothness is the product of much hard work.

‘It is a long process, but I don’t just do

| it to give it a nice surface, I do it so that

people feel what is happening in the stories. Often I go over something and try to pluck out the fancy words, to see how simply I can say something, how less literary I can make it.’

In their density and multiple connections, Munro’s stories are almost miniature novels. They build up layers of thoughts, memories, emotions, cutting a section right through a life rather than presenting a simple sequence of events.

'I want people to see the whole story when it’s finished. It’s not like a road, going from one place to another, it’s more like a house —you go into a house, and you go through all the rooms, and then the house is a structure, a whole in your mind. The complete story is what matters, not just the end.’ (Sue Wilson)

Friend of my Youth, Alice Munro, Chatto andWindus, £13.99.


Listings inai ked Sill" are Scottish Book Fortnight events.


I AULD KIRK MUSEUM l'hc (‘rossg Kirkiiitilliicli.7o20112 ext 263.

Mon 29 10.30am. Children's writer James Orummond reads from ll’a/laces .S‘i‘liool .‘ldl't’Nlilfr’S tAmaising Publishing. £5.95 11 h. £295 p b) the storyot (ilasgow Fire Services inasCot Wallace. o 10 ) rs. (SBF). I BISHOPRIGGS LIBRARY 170 Kirkintilloch Road. 76201 12 ext 263.

Wed 31 7.10pm. Professor Archie Roy author of .-1 Sense ofSomet/zing Strange (Dog & Bone. £7.50) talksabout poltergcists. haunting. and precognition - just the thing for l lallowe'en. Refreshments. (SBF).

CENTRAL LIBRARY, PAISLEY I ligh Street. information 889 2722.

Wed 31 7pm. Dugald Cameron, authorof Glasgow's Airport ( l lolmes MacDougall. £9.95) talks about the development ofthe airport from the beginningofthe century to today. (SBF).


Street. 221 7472.

Mon 29 12.30pm. Scottish cookery writer

Catherine Brown talks about her new book Broths To Bannorks: ( 'ooking in Scotland 1090 to the Present I)in (John Murray. £15.95). (SBF).

Mon 29 6pm. Bob Grant and Doug Nailer read from and sign copies of Better Than Life (Viking, £12.99) the sequel to Red Dwarf. from the popular TV series.

Tue 30 12 . 30pm. Douglas Adams drops in to sign copies of Last (‘hance To See (lleinemann. £13.99) a funny and alarming account of his travels amongthe world‘s endangered species.

TIIUI'SI 6.30pm. Award-winning Glasgow Herald columnist Jack Mt: lean reads excerpts from and signs copies ofhis compilation The Bedside Urban Voltaire (Lochar Publishing, £9.95). Wine. (SBF). Thurs 8 12.30pm. A chance to meet legendary cartoonist Ralph Steadman, who will be signing copies of his new book 'I‘ales oft/1e Weird (Jonathan Cape, £9.99).

I MITCHELL LIBRARY Conference Room. North Street,2217030.

Fri 26 l 1am. Jean Faley. author of Up ()or ( 'lose: Memories of Domestic Life in Glasgow ’l'enements (White (‘ockade, £13.50 h/h.£7.95 pib) (SBF). I MILNGAVIE BOOKSHOP 37 Douglas Street. 956 4752. Fri 26 l lam. Jean Faley talking again about Up ()or ( 'lose (White (‘ockade,

84 The List 26 October - 8 November 1990