Life/71 ry e cture 1 998

William McIlvanney

William McIlvanney will be delivering The Post Office Literary Lecture

“I bear the Book id dying - Come rouer ant) watc/a tbe funeral on TV i

on Tuesday 25, August at 7,00Pm: in The Post Office Theatre "

m THEIJST 13-20 Aug 1998


Brad Melzer: law deal


The new John Grisham? The next Bret Easton Ellis? An F. Scott Fitzgerald for the next century? Such comparisons have been thrown the way of 28-year— old Columbia Law School graduate Brad Meltzer, having leaped to the top the bestseller charts with his debut The Tenth Justice and about to launch his followoup Dead Even. ‘All of those comparisons I will take. but none of them are right,’ insists Meltzer. 'lt's just shorthand. But if it tells people that I write legal thrillers or intelligent characters or dialogue, then fine.’

Think legal thriller and you think crime, arrest. courtroom confrontation,

conclusion. big Hollywood budget. To Meltzer. this is mere window-

dressing. ‘Sure, The Tenth Justice is about the Supreme Court but to me it's more about friendship. Dead Even is about husband and wife on opposite sides of a case - to me it's about love and what you do to save the person you love.’ indeed, his new work contains the ultimate dilemma - having to hold a secret inside when all you want is to tell the person you love but realising that that knowledge could put them in danger.

His next role is as an extra in a future Woody Allen film. ’The scene is this book party where they got real authors to stand in the background as extras for authenticity,’ recalls Meltzer. 'l am as important in this movie as wallpaper or a chair. But my mum is still going to figure out what she's going to wear to the Oscars.‘ And your mum is what counts. (Brian Donaldson)

a The Big Advance ~ Josie UOyd, Brad Meltzer And Patrick Janson Smith (Nuts And Bolts) Spiege/tent, 20 Aug, 2. 75pm, f 6 (£4); Brad Meltzer And Christopher Brookmyre (T he Bigger Picture) Studio Theatre, 20 Aug, 3.30pm, £5 (£3).

MARRIAGE Married Writers

both an inspiration and a hindrance to each other’s work. Competition and ; Jealousy were the key elements to their relationship but the true winner was . Simone While she was composing ? philosophical and sociological classics which altered the way we think about gender and sexuality, Sartre was Di‘l‘illlll’l chapter-length descriptions of doors and pebbles

These days, creative couples are fewer and further between. Thank blazes for postmodern detective couple Paul Auster and Sin Hustvedt with breakfast conversations along the lines of 'darling, the question is the story itself, and whether or not it means anything is not for the story to tell 'That’s lovely, dear. Are you ready for your Golden Grahams now?‘ (Brian Donaldson) Be/ Mooney And Jonathan Dimbleby (Marriage) Post Office Theatre, 76 Aug, 5pm, [6 ([4)

With Bel Mooney and Jonathan Dimbleby attending the Book Festival to explore the history of writers who were married to one another, one question arises. Writers are hard enough to live with at the best of times F Scott Fitzgerald rlrove Zelda to the iiiadhouse while William S Burroughs blasted his wife away in a firearm frenzy.

So how would writers With their writerly temperaments get on in the same livrng space, Willi or Without an extra initial7 The household atmosphere of Ted Hughes and Sylwa Plath must have been a gas. A neurotic suicide-obsessive and a bloke With a penchant for pikes. You can lUSl picture Ted asking Sylvra to pass the bourbon creams, can't you7

Though never strictly wed, Simone de Beauv0ir and Jean-Paul Sartre were