new titles

Medea Christa Wolf (Virago £16.99) a 11' at it

It’s one of the West's most an( ient and enduring myths and has been the obiert of many a retelling Yet Wolf's version of the story of the Wife of Jason who betrayed her own, brought him the fleet e and (ommitted IllldlllK ide and fratrir ide, still brings new IWists As Margaret

Atwood remarks in her intisive

introduction, ‘Medea is no two- dimensional allegory' Rather, rt is a

pan-dimensional, With hidden-

resonante-for-alI-sorts metaphor Although Wolf evokes

understanding of Medea, not blame,

this is no feminist reading Slavery,

the (omplex subjugation of eastern

Germany by western Germany, the

dominante of multinational

(‘apitalism and ethni( (leansing

are all brought into the frame

And by using the first person

singular to (‘II( it varying points

of View from the key players,

Wolf is sending that most (llllK ult

of messages that responsibility

must be taken for our attions

No matter how heinous they may be


Hidden Agendas

John Pilger (Vintage £8.99) 1t 1? a a ir In a distinguished jOUHldlISlIC career, John Pilger has exposed injustite in Chile, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam Hidden Agendas returns to all of these troublespots and many more, as Pilger develops his (ritigue of 'globalisation' and what he destribes as the ’new cold war.’

In eloquent, passionate prose, he (‘arries the reader dizzyineg from Iraq to Haiti where girls SlllCll baseballs

for Si 33 a day

and bat k to a Tony

Blair photo-opportunity Ill Ayiesbury

Western governments, he argues, are (arVing up the world for their own ends, with New labour thoroughly


An antidote to the simplified, sponsor-friendly news we are used to, this is :n fatt the real-life X-Fi/es, with Pilger as the real Mulder But in (ontrast to the faddish TV series, his

(onspirar y theories are (()lt\.’ill( ing, and little is left unexplained Depressing and hopeful by turns, this

is irresistible

Just be prepared to trust

no-one (SN)

f Paradise Toni Morrison (Chatto 8r Windiis

£16.99) « a

’Tliey shoot the white girl first '

Toni Morrison's new novel begins

With the (oldest of opening

3 sententes What follows, though, is sketthed out in guirksilvei

Time and narrative sWirl and eddy through its pages in sinuous, sensuous prose as 200 years of blat k Ameritan history loops around and burrows into Paradise’s framework Sententes begin in one

detade and end in another, \‘Vlll( it

makes for a slippery and potent, if at times perpleXing, read

Set in the isolated town of Ruby, Paradise depit ts a so( iety straining against the marr h of history Under the shadow of Vietnam and

blatk protest, the (ast-iron (ertainties of the town's populat e

are beginning to butkle Old lines up against young, light-skinned against dark-skinned But it is four outsiders,

women at a nearby former (orivent, who are in the firing line when

things finally break The Guardian has Just des( ribed Morrison as Amerita's most famous novelist And we get Jeffrey Arr her (TJl

Continued over page

The Street Lawyer

John Grisham (Century £16.99) it sir it

After eight novels and a slew of movie adaptations, John Grisham has achieved the impossible: he's turned lawyers into folk heroes. Their colleagues might remain morally despicable, but Grisham's idealistic leading men hold true to the noble intentions of their chosen career. Usually that can be put down to youthful na‘ivete, whereas in his latest book The Street Lawyer, the pangs of conscience come over more as an early mid-life crisis.

A black homeless man holds Michael Brock and eight colleagues hostage in their plush Washington

DC offices, but is shot dead by a police marksman. Brock discovers that the deceased's grievance stemmed from his illegal eviction from a building that was the key to a multi-million dollar deal. When a young family who were also evicted die from exposure, Brock gives up dreams of becoming a full partner and making millions to work with the


A lawyer with a heart of gold? Escapist fantasy. of course, written in easy, page-turning prose. Maybe Grisham is experiencing feelings of guilt about his own over-stuffed income, but although the story is occasionally a little too righteous and the concept rather patronising. he manages to

hold back from the soapbox. (AM)

Waterstone's Edinburgh


APR 7.30 PM


.‘lll these events are free, tir‘kers

available from appropriate bra/it‘ll.

reviews BOOKS

Authors at

Waterstone’s in April



“Falling Leaves: An Unwanted Chinese Daughter” (PeriQUiri £6 00)



“The Second Messiah 'i\ll()W to 9%



"Cold Mountain” (Steptre £6 99)



“Blood Work" roiion r 12 om

Tickets now on sale for


at The Queen’s Hall, 24 April, 7.30pm £3, £1.50 cones.


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