THE WRITE STUFF
Award-winning mystery writer Joe Lansdale‘s latest novel The Two Bear Mambo is about to be
made into a film by David Lynch. Teddy Jamieson asks the Texas-based novelist for his
m .loe Lansdale.
Previous lobs Oh yeah. I‘ve been a road worker. janitor. bouncer. factory worker. farmer. builder. Some of them were interesting. but yotr know. hard back-breaking work is hard back- breaking work.
am to becoming a writer I was about nine years old when I knew I wanted to become a writer. By the time I was 2| l was published and by the time I was 29 I was a full-time writer. Influences Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Bible gave trre the voice and the attitudes. though I‘m anything but religious. Edgar Rice Burroughs just got me excited about being a writer as a child and I've just cotnpleted a Tar/an book he left unfinished. So that was kind ofchildhood nostalgia. ()therwise. Flannert O'Connor. Hemingway. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Raymotrd Chandler. Ray Bradbury and a lot of writers who perhaps aren‘t as well known like Rovert Bloch. Fred Brown and Richard Matheson.
oally Routine I work in the mornings usually. I try to get to trry desk by nine and work till noon and sometimes I work after lunch. ll just depends how things are going. I do that Monday through Friday and Saturday I take off. Sunday is kind of optional.
I Ambition l have ambitions to w rite a lot ofdifferent kinds of books. I've done some film work. some comic book work and television work and I'll probably do a little bit more of these things. I try not to plan too far ahead. All of a sudden you could just dry tip. all ofa sudden nobody would want to read what you're doing. all of a sudden you could be perceived to be out of date. Mostly I just don‘t want to get sick and I don‘t want any problems for tny family.
I Income I'll just say it's pretty damn good. I don't make quite as much as the President. but it's damn close. (Teddy Jamieson)
Tim Bear Mum/m by ./m' I.(lII.\‘(/(l/(' is published by (in/lune: (II [S 9‘).
ITEM PACKING A PUNCH
I or Wee Sweetie Mice And Men Colin Bateman (HarperCollins £14.99) Now here's a conceit and a half. Colin Batctnan is a Northern Irish journalist whose passion is targeted towards the bloody meetings of two men within a boxing ring. This passion has ﬂourished into a novel based on this year‘s St Patrick's Day clash between Tyson and Bruno. And that book concerns a Northern Irish journalist
who is writing a novel based on the St Patrick's Day clash between Tyson and (at last we get the fiction) Irish heavyweight chatnp. Bobby ‘Fat Boy‘ lyleb/laster.
And does Bateman pull it off‘? If farce is your punehbag. then a resounding ‘yes‘ to that. Even before our hero enters the ring. ‘Fat Boy" is involved in kidnapping. gangland warfare and all manner of rrtawkish mayhem. Yet at the book‘s centre is a warm heart with the tact never to allow itself to plunge into gloopy sentimentality. (Brian Donaldson)
LABYRINTH OF WORDS
I The Casanova Papers (‘arl MacDougall (Seeker and \\'arburg
i I (I99) The late George Mackay Brown hailed Carl Macl)ougall‘s last novel '/'/ie lie/Its lie/ow as ‘a masterpiece . . of the great Scottish rtovcls of this century.’ lligh praise indeed. yet the kind of proclamation which can haunt a writer for years to come. Luckily Macl)ougall has admirably covered his tracks with The ('usmmvrt l’u/iers.
A former parliamentary pundit inhabits a converted church. taking
stock of his widowed existence having chanced upon the rrrertroirs of courtier and spy. Giacomo Casanova dc Signault.
Much soul-searching and cotnplex connections ensue as the narrator's life unravels and knots in equal proportion. Macl)ougall may have been linked to celtic contemporaries such as Kelman and (iray but the literary labyrinths of Umberto lieo and Paul Auster are but a whisper away. Never comfortable or particularly easy but happily worth the painstaking effort which the author insists the reader mtrst go through. (Brian Donaldson)
I People Like That Agnes ()wens (Bloomsbury £ l 3.99) Agnes ()wens specialises irr pared-down portraits of the long suffering without resorting to flu-like melancholia or reaching for the rortrantic-heroic crutch. (liven the bleak scenarios that dominate this collection dwindling seaside hotels. scheming relatives. the nutuber-crunching indifference of oflicialdom -- this is a relief.
The thread linking her stories. diverse as they are. is the vagtrc disbelief of
people wrong-footed by life. a feeling summed up itt Lennie. as an unloved farmer‘s wife reflects that the guard posted outside her Town Hall in Nazi- ocetrpied France has become virtually invisible to the numbed local populace.
Muted in tone. the tales cultivate their own poise as the appearance of simplicity is unravelled by secrets. sly antielirttaxes and the occasional quirky triumph over circumstance. llellsraising stuff it isn‘t. but ifcircumspect rebellion needs a creative twist. ()wens conjures miracles with that lacklustre project. (Deirdre Molloy)
I Pulp Martin Aston (Pan £7.99) A biography of Pulp: premature? Not if you consider that Pulp are the thirtysomething parents of an eighteen-year-old offspring which has only recently matured into successful adulthood. Front naive beginnings in at Sheffield school canteen to the Jarvis v Jacko debacle. replete with pics and discography. this is comprehensive. entertaining and gloriously sycophantic. Sorted.
I Out Oi My Mind Richard Neville (Bloomsbury £9.99) Neville. the notorious convicted editor of 0: may resemble a model citizen these days but his trains of thought are still dangerously close to derailment. even if he has realised that every action has a reaction. This class collection ofeultural observations from the last 30 years spans sex. drugs. rock 'n' roll and all life in between.
I lost In Music Giles Smith (Picador £5.99) A kinda non-fiction High Fidelity. journalist Smith's musical memoirs promote the edicts that it's always fun to laugh at other people's misfortunes and that those who can't do it write about it. Vaulting between the minutiae and implications of his record collection and flirtations with the fringes of pop stardom. it's a sad and star-crossed story.
I Homosexuality: A History Colin Spencer (4th listate £8.99) A complete history of homosexuality from pie-history to present day is an enormous undertaking but Spencer. a consistently good writer. has given it his best shot arid hit the mark. l‘Imploying a factual. non-judgemental style which will prove accessible to a wide readership. this is a recommended read in a burgeoning market.
I Morvern Callar Alan Warner (Vintage £5.99) The newest offspring of the disparate and essentially phantom school of Scottish writing which is currently dominating the literary (and 'l’\'. film. T- .shirt. etc) tnarket. Warner takes the sex. drugs and rave (sign of the times) from the Highlands to Spairt as seen through the eyes of its illogical and irrational narrator. Morvern (‘allari (Susan Mackenzie)
I The Saga Prize Founded in I994 to redress the balance of published black novelists itt Britain. The Saga Prize is currently seeking manuscripts for this year‘s pri/e. with the winner receiving £.‘s()()() and their book published by \"irago. Subrttission forms from: The Saga Prize. The Saga Building. Middclburgh Square. liolkestone. Kent. (’T2() l.»\/..
I Hanging Together Sat ts May. 2pm. Is King Street. 552 25-10. To mark the end of the Society of Scottiin :\t'lisls‘ lino-e .-lrt exhibition. poets l)otttt_v ()‘Rourke and Robirr Wilson join songwriter Dave Wher for an afternoon performance.
I Tom Ralston \\'ed 2: May. 5. 3(lpttr. .lolm Smith's. 57 St Vincent Street. 22] 7472. The bestselling author follows up his book of rtterriotr's .llv ('rt/itrti/rv w ith the sequel lb The lit/cc (Scottish (’ulttrral Press £0.95 ).
I Herbert Simmons Thurs 3.: May. 7pm. .lolrn Smith‘s. 252 Bytes Road. 33.: 2769. The author reads from his published book ('m’ltc'r linv (Payback I’t'ess £5.99). See l‘eaturc.
I Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval Thurs 23 May. (i.3()pm. £ l .5() from |)illons. I74 Argyle Street. (ilasgow l-ilm Theatre. I: RU\L' Street. The I)L‘\‘I\L‘lllll:_' authors of l'ii/Ier'r/iritttv U) The (im/v tllaneoek) arid lire ()rv'u/r .I/vyti'rv (Bauval) discuss their new book Keeper ()1 Tire (it'ltt'yiy tllcinemann No.99). a retnterpretation of Ancient ligyptran history
I Motor Mouths 2 l’ri 2.1/sar :5 May.
2). (‘(‘.-\. 346-354 Satrelriehall Street. 3. _ 752 l. Three sell-out ('(‘A shows later. Motor Mouths performance poetry returns. this time with anl Orlandersmith, Vanessa Richards attd Ka’Frique on l-‘riday night. and four-strong poetry crew Atomic lip on Saturday night (plus a workshop at 2pm). See Theatre listings.
I Boxer Wed 29 May. 7.30pm. £2 (£ (’('.-\. 340-354 Sauchiehall Street. 33 752 l. .-\ panel discussion with curator .lolrrr (iill and contributors Keith Piper atrd David :\lan Mellor'. celebrating the Publication of Borer: slit .»l/rt/m/u.ev ()f ll'ritr/rev ()1) lint/Ire .-l/tr/ \isuu/ (in/titre. to comerde w rtlr the (‘('.-\'s litttt'l' exhibition.
I Bryce Courtenay In I? May. 7pm. \Vitlcl'slttllc'x I5/Il-I I’l‘lltcc‘\ Street. 556 W‘s.) The author of the hugely successful lire I’mr er 0/ “He reads lrotrr his latest nov el '/‘/ir' l’ututu I’m turv ( Ileinernan
£ | 5.99).
I Val Mcoermid Mon 20 May. (i.3llpttt. .latttes 'I‘ltttl. .57 George Street. 32.5 449.5. The w inner of the Macallarr (iold Dagger .-\w aid for (’rime fiction reads from her latest title li/m' (it’ll(‘\ (llarperC'ollins
I Alasdair Gray Wed 22 May. 7pm. James Thin. 53 59 South Bridge. 556 (i743. The renowned author of [JUIH/‘A reads front his new collection of short stories .Ilut'iy lie/truce (Bloomsbury £13.99).
I Jon Savage wed 32 May. 7pm. \\'ater.stone‘s. I28 Princes Street. 220 zooo. The music journalist and authority
on all things punk reads from his new book (Tossing ()ver.‘ Il'ritiner 0/! P0,), Sty/e :Im/ .Set'tm/itv /976~/‘)95 (C‘hatto £l().99).
I Andrew Graham-Dixon Wed 22 May. 7.30pm. £2 from \\’21terstorie's. 83 George Street (redeemable against the book). Royal Botanic (iarden lecture Theatre. Inverleith Row. The award-winning critic and historian gives a talk and slidcslrow on his BBC book arid TV series .-I History ()7 British :l rt.
I An Introduction to lucian Blaga Thurs 23 May. 7.30pm. Romanian (‘ultural C‘entre. too Iliglt Street. (>67 3397. Dan ('irimpei looks at the work ofone of Romania's most important poets and philosophers. with poems read in Iinglish and Romanian.
I Herbert Simmons In 24 May. 7.3(lpttt. l‘t‘l’l‘ Records. 55 ('oekburn Street. 220 ()l33. The author reads from his republished l‘riUls (.(II'IICI Iiitv ll’.l}'l‘il£'is l’t'ess £5.99). See l‘eature.
I Words In A Garden Wed 29 May. lptn. Royal Botanic (iar‘den. ('aledoman llall. Inverleith Row. 552 7l7 l. ('href librarian I)r ('olin Will and lecturer Margaret lilphinstone give a poetry reading on the joys of Scotland's natural environment.
I Steve Jones wed :9 May. 7pm. r: from \N'aterstone‘s. l3/l-l Princes Street/S3 (ieorge Street (redeemable against the book) Assembly Rooms. (ieorge Street. The BBC TV presenter and author of Language 0/ The (iv/rev gives an illustrated lecture on his new book III The li/mu/ — (iml. (iv/rev .-lm/ Deitiltv (llarperCollins £20). followed by a discussion with Brian (‘hrrstie of The Scott/tutti.
88 The List l7-3() Mav I996