I Heart Songs .-\rmic Ii. Proulx (Fourth Iistatc £6.99) Familiar territory transported to a new genre is the crux of Pulitzer Prize-winning Proulx's first short story collection. Revisititrg the wilderness. these are tales of hunting: for arrirrrals. birds and fish. and for love and personal salvation. ()1d resists new. rural battles urban. .-\II is revealed in Proulx‘s sparse. almost detached. hypnotic prose.
I Time And Pete Jarrres Robert Barker (Forrrtlr listate £6.99) ererr Tim finds himself stranded on laguna beach. he must ask ex-lover Pete for a lift horrre. The journey brings them into contact with a circus of wackos culminating in a gay anarchist grotrp with a grudge and a huge cache of explosives. What do they do'.’ (‘ool kitsch collides witlr hard issues.
I An Imperfect Marriage 't‘im Waterstone (Headline £5.99) The bookclrairr founder and thirrkiug man‘s Joanna 'l‘r'ollope returns with a tragic tale. When his marriage begins to unravel and he cannot penetrate his wife's unfathomable unhappiness or grasp any corrifort from his daughter's. all Robert 1.uscoorrrbe has is his duplicitous and unstable banking career. liveryone involved rrrtrst try to btrck the downward spiral.
I Borrowed Time: An Aids Memoir Paul Monelte (Abacus £0.99) First published in 1988. this award-winning account documents Monett.:'s last years with his lover Roger I‘lorvvill, who died of Aids- related complications. Morrette himself died in 1995 and one hopes that this beautifully-written and highly emotive work provided sonre forrrr of catharsis. It is regrettable that memoirs of this nature will soon fall fort] of market saturation. (Strsarr Mackenzie)
[EEK- MIRACLE MAN
I The Miracle Shed Philip MacCann (Faber .-\nd Faber £5.99) A wayward nremoir-nmel of types. .\Iac(‘ann's novel prrts the fraying edges of rrroderri life trrrder the microscope. filtered through the intensely personal voice of the narrator. lie is camera and actor. non sequentially raising and dropping the shutter on his life: cynical sex tourist in .~\lgeria. idealistic beach drop- out. scrtrffy grammar kid in Belfast. Although he shifts pseudonymously. sexually. abstaining the death-like ease
ofgiven identities. Mac('amr‘s ‘no- man' is still tainted by corrrplicity. limotional registers of betrayal. sadism and defeat are painted in minuscule detail and shaded in language that squeezes wry humour from unremittineg bleak scenarios. The elastic prose tilts into idiom. flips to reverie. and bends around potent reflections. reelairrring the ambiguous perspectives of modernism from errrpty pastiche.
Mac(‘ann announced his retirement from writing at the age of 25. Five years on ltc lras delivered a stunning rebuttal of his own fatalism. The boldest sedttetiorrs always have a twist in the tale. (Deirdre Molloy)
I The Insult Rupert Thomson (Bloomsbury £10.99) It begins with a btrllet and ends with a gun. In between. Rupert 'l‘horrrson’s fotrrtlr novel tells two stories which merge in violence. The first is a tale of Martin Blorn. a bookseller blinded by a random shooting. Blorrr claims his vision returns after dark and plunges into a night life in a nameless. vagtrely east European city. He spends his nights with circtrs acts and exotic dancers. one of whom. Nina. becomes his lover. The second story starts when Nina disappears. lnvestigatirrg her past. Blorrr meets her grandmother“. who
launches into a torrid family saga (at removed from the cool. sly. almost European style of the book's first half and it's only when the two stories begin to horrifyineg knit together at the novel's clirrrax that we comprehend 'l‘homson‘s intentions.
Another un-lirrglish novel from this larndon-based writer. The Insult is not perfect. Blom's story ultimately seems trrrrcsolved and the jtrddering gear-shift between narrative voices leaves the reader with a sense ofjar'rirrg dislocation. Btrt Thomson gives plenty of evidence of his abilities as a writer and after all. how many other novels give you two stories for the price of one'.’ (Teddy Jarrriesorr)
ON THE BEAT
I The Beat Goes On: The Rock File Reader ed. Charlie Gillett and Sirrron Frith (Pltrto Press £35 hardback. L' 10.99 paperback) In the 7()s. Gillctt and Frith edited Roek File. an annual publication combining copious charts with irrtelligently-written articles about the current scene. This. twenty years on. is its greatest hits. devoted to writings on artists. business and audience. It was. as becomes clear. a tirrre of changes. and The Ben! (Ines ()n is at its rrrost useful as a means of reflecting on how the last two decades have answered
questions posed by the various pieces.
The writers were close enough to such events as the annexation of rock by the middle class to write about them with undirrrrrred bitterness. .-\nd the book also ptrts things in perspective by constantly referring back to the real lritrrrakers of the time. names which revisionists critics have always ignored in favotrr of their own. trrtrclr hipper. version of the 7()s.
This was a time before cultural critics flaunted their knowledge of Barthes and Derrida. so despite a tendency towards academic dryness it is refreshingly readable. (Alastair Mabbott)
I A Festival 0 Scots Poetry an Sang Fri 2.3 Sun 25 Feb. New 1.arrar'l; Youth Hostel. A weekend of writing and song workshops plus concert at Biggar (‘orn lixclrarrge on Sattrrday night. (‘ontact (H.555 bb3344/IH899 308453 for late enrolment.
I Edwin Morgan \vetr 2s Feb. 7.30pm. Mitchell library. .\'ortlr Street. 3(15 2933. An evening entitled ‘Iinjoying Bur'ns'. held as part of the library's ‘Btrrrrs ‘90‘ programme.
I Science and Technology Day Thurs 29 Feb. 3-«7pm. John Smiths. 57 St Vincent Street. 221 7472. A multi-media event. to catch up on the latest scientific developrrrents on (‘1) ROM.
I Margi Clarke Thurs 29 Feb. 1—-2pm. l)illons. 174 b Argyle Street. 248 4814. Following on from her TV series The (final Set (inn/e. Ms (‘larke will be signing copies of her new ctrliuarv collection Better 'I‘lrtur Ser ('uokldmk (Hodder £14.99).
I Martin L. McLaughlin Fri 33 Feb. (rpm.
ls'tituto ltaliarro Di (‘ultura 82 Nicolson Street. 668 2232. The author reads from his new book l.ll("l'(ll‘\' [Inflation in the lltl/Itlll Rt’lltll.\‘.\'(lll( e ((‘larendon Press). I Shore Poets Strrr 25 Feb. 8pm. £1 (free). 1-‘ruitrrrarket Gallery. Market Street. 225 2383. Poetry readings from Donny ()' Rourke. Ken (‘ockburn and Gael 'l‘urnbull. accompanied by singer'- songwriters Slrauks and Russell.
I Graham Swift Tue 27 Feb. 7pm. Free. Waterstone's. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 31134. The author of It'tllt’l'ltllltl and liver After reads from his new work /.(l.\’l ()I't/erx (Picador £ l 5.99).
I 2 Write Tue 27 Feb. ().3()»—8.3()prrr. (‘errtral Library. George IV Bridge. 225 5584. Tour McGr‘ath leads a workshop on writing for the theatre.
I Dale Peck and Niall Duthie Thurs 29 Feb. 7pm. Free. Waterstone‘s. 13/14 Princes Street. 556 3034. Dale Peck follows up [Vite/ting .tlurlrrr with his new book The /.(ltt‘ ofline/oxides ((‘lratto £15.99). while Niall Duthie's debut novel The [)ue/rexv Dragon/Iv is joined by latest offering Mitre/fjuek (Faber £8.99).
I Bab Fulton Fri 1 Mar. 7pm. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 (i743. An evening of poetry and discussion with environmental activist Rab Fulton. to coincide with the launch of his new collection I.vrieul.
I Poems & Pints Fri 1 Mar. 7.3(lprrr. £1.50 (£1 ). West find llotel. Paltirerston Place. 337 8277. The fidinbtrrglr Writers Association meet again. this time wrtlr guest speakers from Strrrderlarrd Writers Group.
I 2 Write Tue 5 Mar. (r30 8.3()prrr. (‘entral Library. George 1\' Bridge. 225 5534. A Film Video Access \ytrt'ksltop on scriptwriting for film.
I Sally Foster Tue 5 Mar. 7pm. James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 556 0743. The Historic Scotland writer launches her latest study Piers, (lire/s A'- St'otx (Batsfor'd £15.99) with a talk and slideshow.
I 2 Write Wed 6 Mar. 2— 4pm. Sightlrill Library. 529 5569. Dilys Rose leads a workshop on writing fiction.
I John Burnside and John Glenday Wed 6 Mar. 7.45pm. £3 (£2). Netlrerbow Theatre. 43—45 Iliglr Street. ()131 556 9579. Poetry reading by two writers praised for their strong btrt delicate. clear btrt mysterious style.
I Voices and Visions 5 Mar. 7.30pm. Free. Paisley Arts Centre. ()141 887 1010. Award-winning poet and jazz guitarist Don Paterson and rising young poet Kenneth Steven perform an evening of poetry and music.
Joseph Connolly. described as possessing the eye of a Dostoevsky and a writing talent en par with a Scorsese whirlwind. tells Ann Donald abotrt big dogs and big incomes.
Name Joseph (‘onnolly
Route to becoming a writer 1't1 worked in publishing and run an antiquarian bookshop myself so I suppose it was a natural progression itr one way that I started writing tron fiction books.
firstly on modern verse. then biographies of 1’. (i. Wodehouse and Jerome K. Jcrorrre.
Previous jobs Fairly dull I'm afraid: an editorial assistant at Hutchinson's Publishing House. then owner of an antiquarian bookstore and then a journalist for The limes. which I still write for.
Daily routine I honestly am not one of tltose writers who works for two hours a day: it's more elastic than that. I write when I need to. apart from when it's jourrralistrr and l obviorrsly Iravc deadlines.
Influences P. G. Wodehouse tatrglrt rrre that humour is not something you tack on at the end. btit rather something integral. lan Flerrrirrg tatrght rrre about pace and tension and Kingsley Amis was influential in terms of writing about real people in extraordinary situations.
Ambition It was always to publish a novel. btrl now I've done that so I suppose to a writer the ambition has to be :r Booker win in the sarrre way that politicians aspire to be Prime Minister. Fears Well. I'm not particularly fond of big dogs or any dogs that make a noise really. It all stems from when l witnessed a collie ripping apart a little toy dog.
Income 1 don't honestly know. btrt somew here in the five figure bracket. This Is // by Joseph ("mum/1y is [)l!/)/l.\'/lt’(/ lrv lit/re)" uml l'trlrer (ll [8.
'I‘IN‘ I 1\I ‘5 }:tili‘7 I()()(3