standards, and even more so for someone with fifteen years in the game, makes the purchase of a Brewers or dictionary ofslang a safer and more useful bet.
Although ‘Nice little earner' is included. strangely none of the following phrases is: Nice work if you can get it: Make it up as you go along; andWhat a load ofold cobblers. (Thom Dibdin)
LIVE POETS SOCIETY
I The New Makars ed. Tom Hubbard (Mercat Press £7.95) The criteria for inclusion in this anthology of contemporary writing in Scots were that you had to be born this century, and you had to be still in the land of the living when the final selection was made. The book thus ranges from a translation of Baudelaire‘s Le Chat by Flora Garry (born 1900) to an amusing adaptation of Stairway To Heaven by Dundonian pie-eater extraordinaire Matthew Fitt (born (1968). In between are works by such well-known names as Billy Kay. William Wolfe and Tom Scott.
A disparate collection. then. and yet one which might have adopted a wider implicit definition ofwhat constitutes Scots by including more examples of recent, urban verse. particularly from Glasgow. The book does, nonetheless. serve a useful purpose in attesting to the internationalism of the language. both by including translations from Afrikaans, French, German and other tongues, and by printing much material on matters metaphysical or geo-political. The New Makars is a more than useful introduction — or. for some. reintroduction — to Scots, with an extensive glossary. What‘s more. many ofthe poems can make you laugh out loud — not. dare one say. too common a trait in recent English verse. (Stuart Bathgate)
Frances Cornlord reviews the recent releases. I Bombay Duck Farrukh Dhondy
(Picador £6.99) Fundamentalism. gun-running and the fragmentation of the Indian state are just some of the issues that crop up in this exceptional first novel. First through the eyes of Abdul Ali aka Gerry Blossom. a black actor working for world-renowned director David Stream (geddit) in his adaptation of an Indian classic. and then through the eyes of a penurious Indian supply teacher and historian. we see a crazy world of confusions and betrayals as Dhondy mines the cultural divisions between Britain and India. An increasingly zany plot prevents over-seriousness, but as the story cracks along at a frenetic pace it throws out questions and insights in all directions.
I Playing for Real Patricia Angadi (Black Swan £4.99) A quiet. introspective novel set in rural Cornwall. Playingfor Real follows the stories ofJoanne, dumped on her grandparents‘ farm by her unreliable mother, and Peter. the put-upon youngest son of the family who own the manor. Both children are forced to live inside their heads, and the book captures effectively the sense of powerlessness as a dull aimless childhood drifts by, made real only by occasional flashes of fantasy. Fortunately, with each other‘s help. they are able in the end to pull themselves out of their state of inertia and escape the past.
I Meridon Philippa Gregory (Penguin £4.99) There‘s some secret ingredient they put in these doorstep novels that makes them compulsive reading. despite all the efforts of your better judgment. In this case it wasn‘t sex — not much of that — or shopping — not much of that either in the 18th century. Meridon relies on good period detail and what I think they refer to as ‘powerful emotions‘
'; ll Blue Note became arguably the most . famous label in the history of jazz
3 through the quality at the music which i appeared on it, there is a general
consensus that its strong sense of identity was due in considerable part to the striking record-sleeve designs which became the label's trademark. This handsome LP-size paperback traces the evolution at a design icon, and pays tribute to the work of the team which produced so many of the great Blue Note images, in particular photographer Reid Miles, who produced close on 500 at them. Those who mourn the seemingly inevitable passing oi the record sleeve in favour oi the smaller CD insert can wallow in the evocative lull-size reproductions of
classic covers like Sonny Clark’s 195 session Cool Struttin’, which the label updated in their Christmas compilation last year, or Freddie Hubbard's Hub-Tones from 1962.
The CoverArt of Blue Note Records, edited by Graham Marsh, Glyn Callingham and Felix Cromey, is Egalished by Collins a Brown, priced
to tell the tale of a gypsy girl who joins the circus and then is guided by ESP (OK. a telepathic horse) to find her rightful place as lady of the manor. Philippa Gregory is marketed as being a cut above your average romance writer by virtue of having a PhD and having once written for the Guardian. These traits manifest themselves in an ending where Meridon gives up on the aristocracy to run off and live on a collective farm. Unlikely. maybe. but after 563 pages. what the hell. it was a relief to be able to put the book down.
I Darcy’s Utopia Fay Weldon (Flamingo £3.99) Eleanor Darcy. notorious wife of a failed economic guru. outlines her plans for the perfect society to financial journalist Hugo Vansitart while selling her life story to another journalist. As Darcy leads her audience up the garden path so Weldon does the same with hers. Darcy 's Utopia is a witty and incisive morality tale but in the end one feels that the author has derived more pleasure from manipulating the reader than the reader is likely to derive from the lesson taught.
I Lady’s Maid Margaret Forster (Penguin £5.99) Margaret Forster. who recently wrote a biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. returns to Wimpole Street. this time to concentrate on the story of her maid.
Elizabeth Wilson. Well, a pity to waste all that research. eh‘.’ In fact little is known about Wilson. but Forster renders a sensitive and sympathetic account of a servant‘s lot in Victorian times. Especially convincing is the subjugation of Wilson‘s hopes and desires to the wishes of her employers. The book is full ofincident. which makes it compelling reading. but by the end there is a strong sense of pathos at a life twisted out ofshape to suit others.
I JAMES THIN 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743.
Thurs 27 7pm. Arthur Stewart will read from and sign copies of his book Long [)istmu'e Walks in Scotland ((‘rowood £12.95). and show slides on the subject. Mr Stewart is a Physical Education lecturer at Edinburgh University.
Mikhail Bulgakov Competition Answer four questions about this Russian writer and you could win £50 worth of prizes. (‘losing date is Mon 15 Jul: further details from the sho .
I NORTHWORDS LITERARY MAGAZINE'I’he first issue of this new magazine. should be on the shelves at the end of August. In the meantime the editors are inviting submissions of poetry. short stories and short plays. Submissions. with sae. should be sent to Angus Dunn. Northwords. West End Cottage. Blairninieh. Strathpeffer, Ross-shire.
WITNESS FOR YOURSELF THE RISE OF AN S.F. SUPERNOVA
PAUL I. McAULEY
m It. 3 W a.” . . ‘\ SECRET HARMONIES Out now in Orbit paperback £3.99 GD A Mentor." cl ﬁlamell Hiat'mlla'i [( ,R M j Pevga'vi'yiPublishing?11x 'afiori
“Better hard-science writing than any British author since Clarke” The Guardian
ETERNAL LIGHT Out now in
Gollancz hardback £14. 99
34 g a yeAULa.,McAULEv-:
The List 28June— l 1 July l99l 85