UNDER THE COVERS
flow based in Los Angeles, liverpool- born fantasy author and cult honor film director Clive Barker has a new movie, Lord Of Illusions, due for release in October. His latest novel,
, Everville - the sequel to The Great And ' Secret Show - has just been published in paperback (HarperCollins £5.99).
‘I don’t read too much fiction, but what I do tends to be outside the
novel; I’m more likely to pick up science-fiction or fantasy. I tend to go back to the books that I really loved and look at them every five or ten years to see if I still like them. So I’ll always go back and read Stranger In A Strange Land or the first Dune book; I went through a phase when I fell out of love with Bad Bradbury, but now I’m back in again.
‘l’m reading a lot of gay writers at the moment - the new Edmond White book Skinned Alive, which is a collection of short stories (which I only like 50-50), and a book by Ethan Morden called How Long llas This Been Going On? — it’s an American edition, a Random House book. It’s almost a history of the gay community since the 405 in America, and it’s magnificent. A deeply, deeply moving book. They’re my travelling reading, along with Simon Callow’s biography of Orson Welles. I think it’s an extraordinarily good book, although it's just that old, sad story again, with so much of the second half about things to be achieved and failing and terrible movies.
‘Back on my desk at home in LA, there’s a lot of stuff about shamanism, state-of-the-art physics, theories of hyper-reality and theories of being. It seems to me that one of the most important things to me in my life is to familiarise myself with how the great minds of the world solve the eternal questions. And, by the way, not all those great minds write books; some of them are sitting somewhere in the Amazon telling tales around ' campfires, but there are reports of those great minds, so you can at least get some sense of that.’ (Alan Morrison)
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genre. Very seldom I’ll pick up a horror .
I Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson (Bloomsbury £14.99) It‘s I954. and on a small island in the Puget Sound a man stands trial for murder. The case against him appears simple. but it is not. The accused. though technically American. is of Japanese descent and. as with other families that emigrated to the island at the rum of the century. he will always remain the object of suspicion and prejudice. To
make matters worse. the scars of the Paciﬁc war are still there for all to see.
No one knows this better than Ishmael Chambers. covering the case for his local newspaper. The war cost him an arm and separated him from the person he loves — the Japanese girl who married the man in the dock. In this finely balanced novel. Guterson provides a brilliant portrayal ofthe island‘s settler community. both western and Asian. which demonstrates the human cost of viewing those who are different as irredeernably other. (Marc Lambert)
; I The Faber Book Of Pop edited by
l Hanif Kureishi and Jon Savage (Faber
£16.99) There have been anthologies of = pop writings before. but rarely on such
i a scale as this doorstopper which
. collects together more than 150 articles and extracts spanning half a century. Yes. that's right. half a century. For pop is not only big business, it‘s an art form with the weight of history bearing down upon it.
Kureishi and Savage have tried to cover all the bases. making an admirable attempt to get as many voices heard as possible. not just the pundits So. alongside the standard ‘roek writing' and celebrity interviews
(actually in the minority here). there are
little bits and pieces of significance from all over: William Rees-Mogg‘s ‘Who Breaks A Butterfly On A Wheel‘ editorial: a memorably crazed passage f ront Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. and Nik Cohn's ‘Another Saturday Night’. the bogus piece of lifestyle journalism that nevertheless inspired
1 Saturday Night Fever.
. And. as you‘d expect. the writing gets : more self-conscious as the decades pass. the immediacy of the journalism tempered by the increasing sense of a tradition being continued. But that doesn‘t apply to the thoughts ofthe
’ fans. like ldris Walters' Northern Soul aficionados and the Bowie obsessive quoted by Fred and Judy Vermorel. A good one for bedside browsing.
j (Alastair Mabbott)
I Tattoos and Motorcycles Karen Lee
Street (Gollancz £l5.99) ' It took Lucy six years to realise she . didn't love Rusty. even though he was the perfect father and meanest tattoo artist around. After falling for bad boy Vince and going on the rtrn with her two children. Lucy's story and Karen Lee Street's debut novel take a dramatic ttrrn for the better.
In a voice not dissimilar to the easy
flowing wit of Bobbie Ann Mason. , Street describes the lives of neighbours. 3 friends and ancestors in the small town ofTinicum with sparkling. humorous poignancy. This is the kind of town you
3 live in if you‘re happily married with i 2.4 kids and an electric toothbrush set. which counts Lucy out.
Chapters zig-zag through time with a myriad of bizarre but entirely human characters. from the local dance teacher who has the children perform Swan Lake in a lake. to the distraught widow w ho dedicates her life to building a model of the United States in her back garden.
Although slightly confusing when it first veers into this mode. the novel soon works as a style which intrigues;
5 the plot whirls loosely around Lucy. its axis. as she involves trs in lives of ’I‘inicum‘s inhabitants. past and present. (Katy Lironi)
I James Baldwin: A Biography David Leerning (Penguin £9.99) From a deprived childhood in Harlem. Baldwin became a respected novelist. essayist and short story writer yet remained haunted by his background. homosexuality and inability to deal with life. Written by a long-standing friend and colleague. this is a fond. frank and fascinating account of a multi-faceted mart presented in engaging. conversational style.
I Obsession Edited by Sarah Lefanu and Stephen Hayward (Serpent‘s Tail £8.99) Jeff Torrington. Michele Roberts. Lisa Tuttle and Adam Lively all feature in this disparate yet successful amalgamation of sixteen authors. With a central theme of what people obsess about as opposed to obsessions. these stories display an unusual range of style and subject tinged with personal injection producing a satisfying collection.
I Children of a Harsh Winter Janet Cohen (Penguin £5.99) Taking the familiar theme ofchildhood trauma manifesting its effects in adulthood. this is the story of Jennifer. victim of child abuse. Paul. an orphan refugee and David. product of a dysfunctional family. each now highly successful but united by their pasts. Well- crafted and consistently entertaining. at 439-pages. this is a quality saga for the imminent holiday season.
I Life and Death in Shanghai Nien Cheng (Flamingo £7.99) In the midst of China’s Cultural Revolution. Cheng. a Shell employee. with Western influences was accused of being a British spy. She endured a six-and-a-halfyear stretch in solitary conﬁnement and refused to confess. but after her release. the nightmare continued. Couched in disturbingly prosaic terms. Cheng paints a hard-hitting. enveloping picture. in which she emerges as an extraordinary individual.
5 I Kazuo Ishiguro Wed 24, 6.30pm. John i Smith & Son. 57 St Vincent Street. 221
- 7472. A reading from the Remains a/"I'lie Day author to promote his latest book
2 about a concert pianist's apprehensive
1 relationship with a town in civic crisis. The Unmnsoleil ( Faber £15.99).
! Edinburgh ! I Chinese Medicine Workshop Sat 20. | noon. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. I 556 6743. Join Chinese health practitioner ‘ Tom Williams for a talk and demonstration before he rushes down to Waterstone's. See below. I Chinese Medicine Workshop Sat 20. 2pm. Waterstone‘s. l3 Princes Street. 556 3034. Join Tom Williams. author of ; Chinese Medicine (Element £5.99) as he demonstrates and discusses the health ; benefits of nreditation. herbal remedies. ( acupuncture and Tai Chi. Recommended i for all stress puppies. 1 I Joanna McDonald Mon 22. 6.30pm.
James Thin. 57 George Street. 225 4495. The former Radio Smilaan broadcaster turned author will be reading from l Dubious Assets (Headline £4.99) — a story i about brains. beauty and the banking set i in Edinburgh and Skye. ‘ I Jane Smiley Wed 24. 7.30pm.
Waterstone's. 83 George Street. 225 3436. A reading from the excellent author introducing her latest novel Mm) (HarperCollins £ l 5.99) about an
American rnid-western college where men dream schemes and women wield subtle powers.
I Val Mcllermid Thurs 25. 7pm. Waterstone's. l3 Princes Street. 556 3034. The Scottish born crime novelist reads from Clean Break (Harper Collins £14.99) the latest in the compulsive series about kick-boxing Manchester private eye Kate Brannigan.
I Kamo Ishiguro Thurs 25. 7.30pm. Waterstone's. 83 George Street. 225 3436. A reading from the author featured in the last issue of The List. up here to promote his book The Unmnsoleil (Faber £l5.99). I Patrick McCabe Thurs 25. 7pm. Waterstone's. I28 Princes Street. 226 2666. A reading from the I992 Booker nominated author here to promote his humorously macabre novel about the intertwined lives oftwo Irish school teachers. See main preview.
I Mary Erskine School Tue 30. 7pm. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 6743. Lydia Skinner has written a history of the Edinburgh school to celebrate its 300th birthday. A Family Unbroken — 1694—1994 (Canongate ii I 2.50).
82 The List I9 May-I Jun I995