comes strongly recommended by

Seamus I Ieaney. Gorse Fires (Seeker

and Warburg £6) is a collection of short evocative poems where home-spun memories of local characters are interspersed with new interpretations of scenes from ()dysseus“ return to Ithaca. The setting is Ireland. but with windows on to the ghettoes of Poland and the Spanish (‘iviI \Var beloved theme of all poets. The atmosphere of most of these poems is a bit too comfortable. especially sedentary when compared with Sharon ()lds. an American poet and the last in this Seeker quartet. The Sign at Saturn (£8). her poems from 1980 to 1987. is preoccupied with sexualin and family memories of the author's own unhappy childhood and an anxiety for the wellbeing of her own children. The tone is stark. and it feels as if ()lds is staking a female claim to aggressive sexuality. Although the conclusion is positive. the journey there is gruelling.

Two new collections from Polygon:

an old. apparently neglected. voice. and a new one proffering a slim volume of thoughtful and elegant poems. The old voice belongs to D. M. Black. whose Collected Poems (£9.95) take in the years 1964—87. IIis very long pieces are intriguing but require time and patience the overall effect is laboured and self-indulgent. The new voice. Elizabeth Burns. with her Ophelia and Other Poems (£6.95). was a refreshing antidote. although she sometimes verges on the incomprehensible. But that‘s poets for you. (Miranda France)


I BOOKMARK READING I’oIIokshaws Library. 50760 Shawbridgc Street. (ilasgow.

Thurs 25 7.30pm. I’oets Valerie Gillies and Ron Butlin read from their own works.

I JOHN SMITH AND SUN 57 St Vincent Street. (ilasgow. 321 7472.

Thurs 25 6.30pm. Bobby TUIIOCh gives an illustrated presentation of his new book Migrations ((iollanez £17.99) and will be signing copies.

Tue 30 (1.3(Ipm. James Kelman reads from


his new collection ofshort stories The Burn (Seeker and Warburg£13.99).


I WATERSTDNE'S I 14~l lb (ieorge Street Edinburgh. 22.5 3-136. Tue 30 7.30pm. Peter Mayle. author ofthe

highly successful Pan paperback A Year In ,

Provence will be reading from and signing copies of the follow-up 'l'oujours Provence (Ilamish Ilamilton £13.99).

I WATERSTDNE'S I3 14 Princes Street Edinburgh. 556 303-1.

Thurs 25 5.30pm. Judy Steel will be reading '

from her new children‘s book .S'ylvester (Amaising £3.50). the story ofa hen—peeked cockerel. and illustrator Rob Hain will be presenting a workshop for children aged (>— l0years.

I JAMES THIN 53—59 South Bridge. Edinburgh 031 556 (i743.

Wed 24 5.30pm Alan Spence will talk about his play ( hanged [Jays (I Iodder And Stoughton) and some scenes will be performed by actors from the current Lyceum production.

Thurs 25 7pm Jim Crumley will give a talk about his new book on the (‘airngormsA High A m1 Lonely Place ((‘ape £14.99) illustrated with slides.

Thurs 2 7pm James Kelman reads from his new collection of short stories The Barn (Seeker and Warburg£l3.99).

I EDINBURGH BDDK FESTIVAL 10—26 Aug. Authors from Allan Ahlberg to Philip Ziegler have confirmed they will be at the Edinburgh Book Festival. with names in between including Melvyn Bragg. Angela Carter. Jilly (.‘ooper. Rolfllarris. PD. James. Mario Vargas I.losa. Frank Muir and Bob Wilson. Despite the recession. sponsorship raised so far amounts toovcr £90.()()(). an increase of 33 per cent on the figure raised in 1989. The major sponsors are Beck's Bier. Scottish And Newcastle and Rowntrce Mackintosh who will sponsor the Smarties (‘hildren‘s Fair.

I INTERNATIONAL WRITERS' CONFERENCE 19—21 Aug. To mark the centenary ofthe birth of.\'eil (iunn. the Scottish author best remembered for works like 'I‘heSiIver Darlings: Morning Tide and I I igh [an (1 River. the Scottish Arts (‘ouneiI and the Iidinburgh Book Festival are staginga major international writers' conference on the subject of the novel. Brian Moore and Mario Vargas [losa will be attendingthe conference as Neil (iunn Fellows. and other speakers will include (‘aryl Phillips. Allan Massie. Richard Ford. (‘andia .‘vthiIliam and Amos ()1. debating topics such as ‘Politics And the Novel‘. 'lmagination and Iixpericncc’ and ‘International Versus regional'. All events will be open to the public.

Rosemary Jackson will be reading from her new collection of short stories The Eye of the Buddha and other theraputic tales Wednesday April 24th 6.30pm Body and Soul 52 Hamilton Place, Edinburgh (031-226 3066) Val McDermid will be reading from her new Glasgow-set thriller Final Edition Wednesday May Ist 6.30pm 'Ihird Eye Centre 346—354 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow (041-332 7521) Friday May 3rd 8pm West and Wilde 25a Dundas Street, Edinburgh (031-556 0079)

The Women's Press

‘A work of hallucination and magic and rare power.’ THE TIMES

‘Brilliantly clever.’ SALMAN RUSHD/E,

‘Beautifully written... emanates a strange and concentrated beauty.’



z ‘Remarkable... brilliant... dense with magical images.’ NEW YORK TIMES.



Out now in paperback

Some books you just can't live without


Graftonlkmks xI I’Ii'lsluu n/ I I.trper( itiIIillsl’ll/l/Ish’t'H

"M'M—I The kind of book you dream about...




The List 19 April 2 May 199177