relationships, the amount they cost her and the I little they gave her, lead up gradually to one of the novel’s crux conversations (she and Rona do .1 A'\ I C l” c l t w

,‘4 M ’{

eventually start talking), about the dilemma of ‘fancying men and not liking them very much’, about the struggle between her hard-eamed cynicism about the opposite sex and her unwillingness to give up on the possibility of love which doesn’t require her diminishment. Her questions remain unanswered Rona falls asleep while she’s talking but I

wondered if Galloway felt optimistic or

pessimistic on her behalf.

‘I don’t know what’s going to happen to Cassie, what her future’s going to be, but part of the point for me is the not knowing,’ she says. ‘What l try to do is to put a whole load of stuff together that is relevant to this character I’ve made, I look out through them and say, that’s what goes on in their head, that’s what they see as significant; it’s like various bobbins that I’ve given people, and they can thread them up any way they like, make their own sense out of it. The sense that I manage to make ofCassie is that she doesn’t bloody well know: there’s a desper- ate, deep desire to keep her options open, not to lose part of what her romantic side means, which is a willingness to trust, a willingness for tender- ness. She doesn’t want to switch that off, but on the other hand she feels a bloody fool, because she’s got no evidence that it’s going to do her any good at all. I think that’s like a hell of a lot of women, no matter how tough or hard-boiled or cynical they may look on the surface; there is a deep willingness among women in particular, I think, to trust, to say, I know what feminism is meant to have taught me. but some of it’sjust too hard to live on.’

As the above suggests, Galloway’s focus, here as in her earlier work, is firmly on the female; proudly and passionately, she inverts conven- tional literary priorities, foregrounding the practical, concrete fabric of life travel kettles, running out of clean knickers, writing postcards; sore feet, sandwiches and supermarkets along with the emotional; relationships, communica- tion and interaction (or the lack of them) with other people.

‘There’s that thing of Yeats’s: “There is the art and then there is the life”, the notion being that women can get on with all that “life” thing,‘ Galloway says, explaining her order of priori— ties. ‘I don’t get that at all; art is about the difficulties of constructing being human, but for too long men seem to have thought all that’s optional, that their real business in the world is other stuff. I think this is what’s behind the whole “dilemma of the English novel” we keep hearing about: what do men have left to write about because theyjunked all that “life” stuff. But meanwhile women have started to say, look what they threw out, there’s books here, there’s paintings here of course there are. And it’s our territory, it’s always been thrown at us that it’s our territory, that it’s pretty shitty and not really much use for anything except serving other people the power for me comes from turning it into something for yourself as well as for other people. pulling the whole act together. Being a writer, making the “art”, isjust yourjob, and all the other “life” stuff is where the writing comes from; I’m not saying you have children and conduct emotional relationships in order to write novels about them, but ifyou take the line, “I am solely an artist”, what have you got to write about?’ Cl Foreign Parts is published by Jonathan Cape at £14.99.

‘1'iredlemnaof fancy'mgmenand notikingthemvery much, thestrugglo betweenhard— earnedcynicism abouttheopposite sexand tmwiingnesstogivo uponthepossibiity oflove.’


- 28 April - 7 May 1994


The participants in this year's Edinburgh Fling celebrate and explore all that is Edinburgh, and invite you to join them for i0 days of events, fun and discovery throughout the City.


Events are both indoors and out. most are free and all others are low in price.

The Edinburgh Fling Gala Day will be held at lovely Saughton Gardens and Saughton Park on Sunday lst May from 12 noon - 4pm. Lots of entertainment: Events, Sport, Food and Fun for everyone.

Find out what Edinburgh is all about!

Pick up a programme at the usual sites including all libraries and all District Council Recreation Department venues, or from the Fling office at 219 High Street. Tel 031-529 4878

The List 22 April—5 May 199413