Politician, author and journalist, Roy Hattersley i explains to Ann Donald 1 why he’s a slave to the typewriter.





Name Roy Sydney George Hattersley Age 62 Route to becoming a writer I‘ve been wanting to write since 1 was eleven years old. I remember being at grammar school and reading a book called More Essays By Modern Masters which had essays by people like Chesterton. Priestley and Belloc. My idea of writing was not that kind of : sensationalist style or news feature or even plot-led fiction. but something historical that still carried the reader along. Previous jobs When 1 left university I worked in the steel industry in ; management training in Sheffield. Then 9 I worked as a tutor organiser for the World Educational Authority. After that l worked as administrator of the Blood Transfusion Service in Sheffield before going into politics. Baily routine There‘s so much to fit in. 1 usually get up at 6.30am and do a bit of writing before breakfast. 1 have John ; Smith’s former suite of rooms. so 1 go in there for 9.30-ish and deal with correspondence. 1 then spend most of ; the day writing. either at home. which is within a mile of the House. or in the | library at the House ofCommons. Influences Political influences would be Tony Crossland. who was a hero and a friend. which is very rare. I'm also an I admirer of Hugh Gaitskill. Literary- I wise. l admire the English realists like George Eliot. My greatest personal 1 influence and dominant figure in my i life has been rny mother who has literally pushed me in life. Ambition On a public level. 1 want to see Labour in power as 1 think that they are eminently electable. On a personal level. 1 want to continue writing ten hours a day. seven days a week and 52 weeks a year. Fears 1 don't really have any. When 1 was 40 1 had a fear of being 60. but it's turned out to be not so bad. Income I'm not going to tell you. it's far too intimate a question. Who Goes Home? Scenes From A Political Life by Roy Hattersley is published by Little. Brown at £16.99.


when Williams told him: ‘Baby. you ' write it.‘ thus issuing the hippest

Mingus (Payback Press. £8.99) Charles ; Mingus was one of the great creative f forces in 20th century music. A man of

1 work. it is necessary to turn to Brian


. Story Of The Most Celebrated Bock i Venue In Britain Russell Leadbetter

2—5pm. £5 (£2.50). Hutchesons Hall. ' chaired by Jimmy Reid and featuring 3 Ratushinskaya and Jack Mapanje.

T I leonard Nimoy Tue 21 Nov. noon.

: Spock. the Star Trek hero now realises that

. good to him and is proud to say [Am

I Multi-Media Day Thurs 23 Nov.

I Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams Lyle Leverich (Hodder £25) 1 Oscar Wilde once said biographers ‘added a new terror to death.‘ Readers faced with this massive tome might feel a little living terror. and it‘s only volume one. Leverich first got started

authorisation in the history ofthe genre. Nearly twenty years later the biography has finally appeared. taking

us through to the 1945 premiere of The Glass Menagerie which established the playwright's name.

Throughout. Leverich is wholly conscientious. and incredibly detailed. For sheer comprehensiveness. this will probably come to be recognised as the definitive biography. Williams’ dysfunctional family. his early struggles with sex and the pen and his obsessional nature are all highlighted. But after 600 pages one suspects the essential Tennessee is better found in the poetry of the plays than in this ultimately deadpan doorstop. (Marc

; Lambert)


I Beneath The Underdog Charles

enormous gifts and equally huge contradictions. his multi-faceted personality this autobiography begins ‘In other words 1 atn thrce' and tempestuous mood shifts have gone down in jazz. legend.

Fora balanced view of his life and

Priestley's biography Mingus (now in need of an update), but this remarkable book. part autobiography. part street- srnart philosophical meditation. part fiction. and part fantasy. provides a unique insight into the creative and personal tumult behind his music. The book is part of a much longer. anarchic

; manuscript. first published in 1971. It

has been out of print for some years.

i but with interest in Mingus's music

5 increasing again. this is a very welcome re-appearance. (Kenny Mathieson)

I You Don’t Have To Be In Harlem: The :

(Mainstream £14.99) To the Barrowland generation. it seems unthinkable that any other large venue could ever hold sway in Glasgow or unleash such a torrent of nostalgia at the mention of its name. particularly when that venue makes Barrowland look like a luxury international concert hall. But yes. the appalling Apollo seemingly has that effect on people

. despite its leaking roof. manky carpet and irascible bouncers.

Leadbetter‘s profile of the Glasgow

Apollo leans heavily on anecdotal

recollections from bands. punters. staff

and management which tend. as most 2 recollections of classic concerts do. towards the boring realms of ‘the

atmosphere at the Apollo was magic. i remember seeing [insert band name] there and [insert lead singer's name] almost fell offthe stage.’ And they’re usually talking about Status Quo. As with ruost nostalgia vehicles. guess you

' had to be there really. (Fiona Shepherd)


At £10,000 the McVitie's Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year is Scotland's biggest literary award. We sample the shortlist.

I Something Very like Murder lirank Kuppner (Polygon £8.99) Glaswegian Kuppner was shortlisted in 1987 for his poetry collection The Intelligent Observation ofNa/t'ed Women. This work combines the examination of a brutal 1929 murder case with autobiography. resulting in an enticing blend of documentary. extrapolation and observation. I So I Am Glad A. 1.. Kennedy tJonathan Cape £9.99) Dundonian Kennedy is a familiar face in the awards arena. Here. in typically introspective fashion. she traces the transformation ofJennifer M. Wilson who attempts to escape reality by taking on the words of others as an announcer and voice-over artiste.

I The Railway Man [{ric l.oma.\ (Jonathan Cape £15.99) Born in 1919. East-coaster Lotnax was posted to Malaya in 1941. takett prisoner by the Japanese and forced to work on the treacherous Burma-Siam railway. This simply-told account of his life and recent reconciliation with one of his tormentors is stunning.

I Heavenly [late And Other Stories Alexander McCall-Smith (Canongate £8.99) Prolific Edinburgh-based author McCall Smith‘s Heavenly Date. . . is a cosmopolitan collection of short stories in which ordinary lives and events are often a veneer for underlying realities.

I Playst Sharman Macdonald (Faber and Faber £8.99) Glasgow-born Macdortald began her career as an actress before finding her true vocation as a playwright. Since then. her blunt explorations of fatnin and friendship have attracted star casts and graced illustrious theatres. This collection includes When / Was A Girl, I Used 72) Scream and Shout. Tlte winner ofthe l995 .l/cl'itie Ts /’/‘i:.e will he announced on That‘s 3!) Nov on the Scottish Book Awards, Scottish Television, 9—]0pm. (Susan McKenzie)

Glasgow I Light Through The Bars Sat 18 Nov.

lngrarn Street. An afternoon of poetry to mark the Day of imprisoned Writers.

personal appearances by Irina

Dillons. 174-6 Argyle Street. 248 4814. Having previously proclaimed [Am Not

the character has been more than a little

Spock instead. Problems with security mean Mr Nimoy will not be reading from I the new book (published by Century at £ 16.99). but will be signing copies.

3—7pm. John Smith‘s. 57 Vincent Street. 221 7472. Find out tnore about CD-ROMs , and the lnternet. with PC demonstrations and the chance to ‘surf the net‘ free of charge.

I UNICEF Day Sun 26 Nov. l—Spm. Dillons. 174—6 Argyle Street. 248 4814. To tie in with the publication of Children Just Like Me (Dorling Kindersley £9.99) by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley. Dillons will be holding a fundraising day for UNlCEF with story-telling. face ; painting. and competitions. All children ] turning up in a national costume will win ' a small prize. with the best dressed i youngster winning a copy of the aforementioned book.

I Paul Gilster Thurs 30 Nov. 6pm. John , Smith's. 57 Vincent Street. 221 7472. The ! multi-media author will be signing copies |

of his new book The New Internet Navigator (John Wiley £15.95). I Glasgow Women’s Writers Group Thurs

(free). Assembly Rooms. George Street. 220 4349. Edinburgh‘s newest forum for performance poetry. music and words. usually resident at Negociants. takes part in Assembly alive! Tonight's line-up features Jim Ferguson. P.J. Fleming. Paul Reekie. Ian Stewart and Tam Dean Burn. I leonard tlimoy Mon 20 Nov. 7.30pm. £3. Church of Scotland Assembly Hall. The Mound. Info: Waterstone's 225 3436.

l The pointy-cared hero reads from his new 3 book [Am Spock (Century £16.99) to an

adoring Trekkie crowd. Tickets are available from all Waterstone's Edinburgh branches. and are

. redeernabie on purchase of the book.

I Norman Maccaig Wed 22 Nov. 7.30pm. £8 (£5). Assembly Rooms. George Street. 220 4349. Scotland’s most popular living

3 poet celebrates his 85th birthday in style

with readings by some of the country’s finest poets and writers. Alasdair Gray. Liz Lochhead. Edwin Morgan and Brian McCabe are just some of the literary talent attending. plus a programme of live music. Part of Assembly alive!

I Dorothy Rowe Wed 22 Nov. 7pm. Waterstone's. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 3034. The renowned psychologist will be discussing her new work Dorothy Rowe iv Guide to Life (HarperCollins £14.99).

I Young Scottish Writers Thurs 23 Nov. 7.30pm. £2 (free). Assembly Rooms.

3 30 Nov. 7pm. 72 Berkeley Street. Reading I ; and launch of Gold Star Salad. with free food and wine.

Z Edinburgh

1 I The Yellow Gate 19 Nov. 7.30pm. £2


l Training Analyst Andrew Samuels gives


' George Street. 220 4349. Gordon Legge.

Roddy Lumsden. Donny ()‘Rourke and Don Paterson give readings loosely based on the theme of popular music. or as they put it ' and their Record Collections'. I Andrew Samuels Thurs 23 Nov. 7.30pm. £6 (£3). Lcith Academy 'l'hcatre. 20 Academy Park. Following his recent book The Political I’s‘yc/te. Professor of Analytical Psychology and Jungian

this year's 1995 Wellspring Lecture.

I Paul Harris Thurs 23 Nov. 6.30pm. St Cecilia's Hall. Cowgate. lnl‘o: 556 67-13. The author reads from his new book (‘ry Bosnia (Canongate Books £14.95). which is being sold to raise tnoney fora printing press for liast Mostar. and discusses his 50 journeys to the war-torn country. The evening will also include works by leading Bosnian poet Goran Simic. read by Michael Elder.

I Rebel Inc. launch Party Hi 24 Nov. 8pm. Free. Electric Frog. Cockburn Street. 226 1505. Performance poetry and readings by Paul Rcekic. Alison Kcrtttack. Gordon Leggc and Tam Dean Burn. to celebrate the launch of Edinburgh‘s literary/rave magazine on the lnternet. plus sounds from Saliva 1)] Dave Torrido. Revellers on the other side of the Atlantic will be watching the proceedings. via the Internet. from a twin party in New York. I Polygon New Scottish Writing Thurs 30 Nov. 7pm. Waterstone's. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 3034. An evening of new Scottish talent. with Chris [)olan. winner of the Macallan/SOS Short Story Prize. reading frorn Poor Angels (Polygon £7.99). and editor Susie MacGuire selecting some choice moments from Scottish Love Stories (Polygon £9.99).

82 The List 17-30 Nov 1995