I Quiet Moments in a War: The letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de ' Beauvoir 1940-1963 Edited by Simone de g Beauvoir (Penguin £8.99) The first paperback translation for a collection predominantly from I940 and written from the Front. Sartre exposes the humorous. doting facets of his nature as he details daily existence. friends and preoccupations. interwoven with moments 3 of academic genius. An entertaining. charming correspondent whose letters expand the man behind the myth.

I Konfidenz Ariel Dorfrnan (Sceptre £4.99) A claustrophobic enigma from the author of Death and the Maiden. Barbara follows her political refugee lover to Paris to find him untraceable. and herself observed by the curious Leon. who knows her innermost self yet believes her to be the embodiment of his dreams. Original and challenging dialogic mind-games dominate.

I What’s Wrong With America Scott Bradfield (Picador £5.99) Written as a journal to her family. this farcical romp begins when a 69-year-old granny wastes her fascistic hubby with his own gun before embarking on a voyage of brandy and booking. hallucinations and attempted - hari kari. The whole is a surreal. hilarious melange which is perceptive and intuitive. moving and inspirational.

I Choosing Spectacles Rosalind Belben (Serpent‘s Tail £7.99) Yeeuch! Over- 3 priced novella noir. often firtnly up its own proverbial. A Lutanian exile travels through a troubled Europe observing the fall ofcommunism and the undulations of dictatorships. reflecting on his abandoned family. trying to make sense of his life. Fleetingly haunting but generally abstract and disjointed to extremes which irritate rather than stimulate.

I The Bingo Palace Louise Erdrich ? (Flamingo £5.99) Excellent descriptive skills and finely worked understatement carry Erdrich‘s fourth novel. When Lipshai returns to the reservation of his birth he ' falls for Shawnee. She. however. is planning to marry into status. to a man preparing to bring gambling to the community. Love. high finance. heritage and identity a novel of immense scope. (Susan Mackenzie)

affluent East Coast Americans must

effects of deaths around them and § occasionally try to react meaningfully to it.

, I Swamp Foetus Poppy Z. Brite (Penguin £5.99) Poppy Z. Brite’s first

3 Swamp Foetus. is beautifully lush and i decadent. touched by a tangible fear


(Century £15.99) Ellroy’s latest novel

= the morality starts muddy and gets

to chew. Gone are the serial killers and 1 obsessive cops of the earlier LA

, the Mafia and the Klan. all of them


I The Afterlife and Other Stories John Updike (Hamish Hamilton £14.99) Concerned with the disquictude of senescence. this collection represents a series of reverse rites of passage. where the beliefs and assumptions of youth and middle age dissolve before the approach of death. Having overcome

debt and numerous divorces. Updike‘s

now mostly passively observe the

On the whole they do not succeed. In The Man Who Became A Soprano suburban amateur musicians form an ensemble whose parlous existence mirrors their own. riven and eventually destroyed by jealousy. adultery and divorce. George and Vivien consists of two discreet but connected parts separated in time by a couple of years. In Aperro. C/tiuso he. twenty years older than she. suggests a visit to D'Annunzio's tomb. Their starkly

.. different reactions to the sepulchre

illustrates the generational difference between the couple. In Blue/ward In Ireland . older btit no wiser. they are back where they started. (John Cairneyl


two novels. Lost Souls and Drawing Blood. came at us last year with a double impact and placed her at the forefront of Generation X horror fiction. Almost singlehandedly. she has reintroduced the notion oftaboo into the genre by filling her pages with sympathetic gay characters who enjoy the physical side of their lives.

Her new collection of short stories.

; and eroticism. Using recurring

characters. she creates unique worlds

j where the goosepimple excitements of

sex and death become indistinguishable from each other. Brite‘s New ()rleans

settings evict Anne Rice and provide a

home for gothic slackers. her modern America exists on the shadowy fringes of society. The stand-out story here. however. takes place in India: in ‘Calcutta. Lord ()1' Nerves'. when the dead rise from the Gauges and join the corpse-like lepers on the streets. the easy entwining of the living and the dead creates a terrifying. apocalyptic vision. (Alan Morrison)

I American Tabloid James Ellroy

spins out like some triple X-rated late 50s newsreel. Everyone who was anyone Hoffa. Hoover. Howard Hughes and the Kennedys makes an appearance. And that's not to mention supporting roles from Castro. Nixon and Sinatra. None of them come out of it with reputations enhanced; in 'Iabloid L

progressively blacker. Ellroy. the demon dog of American crime fiction. has found a bigger bone

quartet. incoming are the CIA. the FBI.

entwined in a bewildering tangle of allegiances and enrnities. all of them guilty as sin. This is a cynic's history of America. tracing the political trajectory that led to a certain grassy knoll on

-. Dealey Plaza. The blood and gore quotient is still

9 squirm-inducingly high and the ' nihilism more profound than ever. The

end result is scedier and scarier yet far more plausible than anything you could ever read in a tabloid. American or otherwise. (Teddy Jamieson)


I Edwin Morgan Fri 10. 7.30pm. Tramway. Albert Drive. 227 5887. £4/£2.50. An inspirational season of poetry readings called Readings Between The Lines where a poet reads a selection of their own work and then chooses a film to be shown afterwards. It kicks off with Glaswegian poet Morgan whose chosen film is Prospero 's Books.

I LIZ lochhead Fri 17. 7.30pm. Tramway. Albert Drive. 227 5887. £4/£2.5(). The popular poet. playwright. performer and broadcaster is second up in the Tramway poetry season with readings from Dreaming Frankenstein and Collected Poems and True Confessions and New Cliches among others. Her chosen film is Latin For A Dark Room.


I Alan Warner and Marion Arnott Sat 18.

Warner reads from his debut Morl'erlt

I Callar (Jonathan Cape £9.99) published i this week together with up-and-coming short story writer Marion Arnott. See

feature for Warner.

; prime mover in linguistic poetry Leonard ' will be reading from the long-awaited

2pm. Free. Paisley Arts Centre. New Street. 887 1010. New Scottish star

I Moniza Alvi and Wilson Ilarris Sat 18. 7.30pm. Pakistan-born poet Alvi and renowned Guianan novelist Harris read from their work exploring the duality of culture and the English language.

I Tom Leonard and Gerry loose Sun 19. 7.30pm. Paisley Arts Centre. New Street. 887 1010. Ground-breaking poet and

Reports From The Present: Selected Poems and Prose [QM—1984 (Jonathan Cape £8.99) accompanied by new poet Gerry Loose.

I James Ellroy Mon 13. 7pm. Waterstone‘s. 13 Princes Street. 556 3034. The American crime king comes to town to read and Sign copies ofAmerit'an

'Iirhloid (Arrow £15.99). his indictment of just about every celebrity and government

I organisation in seedy US politics. See review.

- I Releasing The Writer Tue 14.

6.30—8.30pm. Central Library. George IV Bridge. 225 5584. The event is free but only twenty tickets are available. Susan Collin introduces this workshop for novrce writers.

I Releasing The Writer Wed 15. 2—4pm. Central Library. George IV Bridge. 225 5584. Susan Collin presents this workshop for novice writers.

I John Banville Wed 15. 7pm.

Waterstone‘s. I28 Princes Street. 226 2666. A reading and signing from the Booker shortlisted author and Irish Times literary editor for his new comic-noir thriller Athena (Seeker 8; Warburg £15.99). See preview.

I Releasing The Writer Tue 21. 6.30pm—8.3()pm. Central Library. (.ieorge IV Bridge. 225 5584. Twenty free tickets are available for this workshop presented by Radio Seotlandir Dave Batchelor about writing non-fiction for radio.


Lindsay Kemp, the original wild child of the stage who’s currently touring his radical version of Cinderella in the UK, talks about the pile of books by his bedside.

‘l’ve been waiting for this question for years. I’m reading The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon by Daniel Farson. I knew Francis Bacon and he’s one of my very favourite painters. 1 often turn to him for inspiration, and biography and autobiography is my favourite reading. I read biography of the great for encouragement and inspiration, I just love to identify - especially when things are a bit down - to read how they coped with it all.

‘I’m also reading The Madness of King George III by Alan Bennett because I’m very attracted to madness and particularly mad kings, hence my role as the demented prince in Cinderella.

‘Another thing I’ve been reading is The Assassination of Frederica Garcia Lorca. I tried to read it in Spanish, but my Spanish isn’t very good. It’s a wonderful book, and I’m not through yet with either mad kings or with Frederica Garcia Lorca. Lorca is my favourite poet, and one of my guardian. angels.

‘And last night I was in bed early so I picked up my Methuen book of Theatre Verse. It made me laugh and it made me cry. I cried with a kind of a happiness, reading about the problems of my predecessors, and having a good laugh about it. “The maudlin stage of the old actor” and so on. It’s a fabulous book from Methuen. It has Noel Coward, Edith Sitwell, William Congreve. They’re all in there. It’s just so entertaining.

‘Probably most important of all though, I’ve dug up Stanislavsky’s . books which I haven’t read for a very I long time. So here I am once again reading Stanislavsky. An Actor’s Handbook and An Actor Prepares. I read it all when I was younger but kept putting it down. It’s not complicated to read, but I just understand now the importance of the empty space; the discipline; inner ardour and all these terms. I’m hoping that it’ll make me a better performer, and also it reminds you that one absolutely has to be in front of one’s mirror two hours before a 1 performance. I always try to, but nobody else does and I’m really glad I to have this teacher at my side.’ (Ellie I Carr) 1

The Lisl Ill-23 Feb 1995 81