BOOKS PREVIEW ml Revolution and eventually torn apart by l the cruelty and perversion ofits own a 1 untrammelled desires.

E The two narratives intertwine as

E Babbletower. penned by the strange

and disquieting Jude Mason and published on Fi‘ederiea's

3 recommendation. is prosecuted for

. ' . obscenity. Simultaneously. Frederica's BChmd BOOl‘CI PI MC— divorce and custody battle comes to Winner A, Byuttis couit. The two cases echo each other, ~ . - , 3 , v 3 - , , both raising the notions of freedom and 1‘01 Iniddbk’ p101 11L 15 fl duty. language and truth. sex and formidable woman With a power. Passion {01. detail. as Marc "The one thing I didn‘t want to do was . to write a housewife novel about how Lambert discovers. 3 terrible it was to be stuck in the i kitchen. even though I knew everything there was to know of how terrible it

Listening to A. S. Hyatt talk about literature is a bit like hearing the word of (iod. \Vinner ofthe l‘)‘)() Booker Prize for l’os‘s‘t’ys'ttut and a distinguished scholar and critic. she is widely admired for her formidable intellect and creative power. Now, in a conversation that ranges from biblical metaphors to the Marquis l)e Sade. she -was.' says Byatt. ‘At the same time I

‘The one thing I didn’t want to

do was to write a housewife

novel about how terrible it was to be stuck in the kitchen.’


A. 8. Hyatt: powerful vision of the dark side of the 605

same. she suggests. as the need tor

grammar in language. ‘( ii'ammar is a

for the major novelist is humankind.‘ Typically rich and complex. liti/it’l

interrupts herself to apologise good- naturedly for going into ‘radio mode' and lecturing.

She is speaking about her new novel

was absolutely conscious that ; Frederica‘s struggle to assert herself was the story of most women. and still is.‘ But Byatt has never been one to

Tower is dominated by Byatt‘s relish for detail. symbol and allusion w a passion that occasionally makes the book like an extended course in

description of what goes oti in your

brain when you generate latigttag'ef slie admonishes. syy itching into radio mode again. ‘If yoti liayetit got ;,'t‘;iiittii;ii' yoti

[iii/tel 'Iitwer. the third in a quartet including 'l‘/1e lire/it Ill The (Jun/mi and Still Life. Set in the l‘)(i()s. it follows Frederica Potter as she struggles to break free from her

literature. ‘I wanted every little thing in can't describe the pioeesses oi the the novel to mean as much as it could.‘ she says. The novel‘s strength is in its powerful vision of the dark side of the

devote herself to narrow concems.

Talent and ambition are what makes her distinctive. ‘There's been a kind of

nonsense talked about women's writing

mind. Language ean't e\ist without linguistic forms it would lllsl lie

babble . .'

disastrous marriage and establish a life - for the last twenty years.‘ she says. ‘All 60s, paralleling this with the collapse of It’ll/W littt‘t’l‘ 1‘ /)i[/’.l\lj( i; /;;;u t w it.“ the Babbletower community and the /2_\' ( lid/It) .k- Hint/ax i." f l i W l .\

it‘s done is damage women's writing.

Women hoaxcd themselves into

i thinking they should write small novels i about women for women. Meanwhile. they 've forgotten that the area of study

for herself with her child in London. lnterspersed is a novel within a novel. Babbletower. the dark tale of a libertarian and idealist community formed in the wake of the French

li’y'iill will be run/it}: tier: art." reg u/mu/ her novel (NI ll; i.’ .\ .l/a't “it/ii in llil/(WN/Ullt’o. /3.\' /’t':t:t ( \ Sin (1'. lat/iti/itiije/t. .81 t‘ li’iutl. /.‘.( my

fracturing of society into different philosophies and tongues.

Byatt's work explores human nature and the need for order. which is the

Wednesday 15 May at 7 .00pm JOANNA TROLLOPE

Joanna Trollope is one of our most enduringly popular novelists, her characters and their stories are close to the hearts of millions. This evening she reads from and discusses

her new novel, *


(ltltitiiiislittry .L‘I4.S)t))

Wednesday 8 May at. 7 .00pm A.S. BYATT

Those of you who have heard A.S. Byatt read will not want to miss this opportunity. This evening she reads from and talks about her new novel


((Ilttttlti .L'lti.!)t))

Thursday 16 May at 7.00pm SUSAN J EFFERS

Author of the phenomenally successful FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY will be here to discuss her new book

Friday 10 May at 7 .00pm ROB GRANT

A new Red Dwarf novel which sees Dave Lister back oii liartli and facing puberty again but in reverse this time. Rob (iraiit will read from and talk about


(Vikingi .Ll-l.‘.)‘.)t


(l lodder £14.99) Jeffers is considered by many to be one of the most influential popular psychology gurus. We can expect a challenging and stimulating evening

. Tickets for all events are free from , . Waterstone’s West End Branch, 128 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AD

92 lllL‘ List 3— lo .\lay I‘Nb