THE SCOTSMAN MILLENNIUM LECTURE
Having fallen out with fellow feminists over recent press statements, Fay Weldon is now linking Tony Blair to that nasty snake in Eden. Can you Adam and Eve it? Unlikely bedfellows and more to the point an unlikely ménage a trois - Adam and Eve and our very own P.M., Tony Blair. Trust Fay Weldon to conceive the union, as she does with this year's The Scotsman Millennium Lecture. The woman who has written a litany of novels about women throwing down the tea towel and grabbing good honest gratification be it of the flesh, food or pay-back on the male blighters in their lives, is now taking on contemporary politics and the inhabitants of Eden. Modern-day Adam, feels Weldon, is having a hard time and politicians should get wise to it.
In the recent TV adaptation of Weldon’s Big Women, the much touted 60$ slogan was 'Women Need Men Like Fish Need A Bicycle’. Now the kitchen tables have turned. ’Men need women like fish need water,’ believes Weldon, speaking from Hampstead, that bastion of London liberal reason. ’The government is floundering around and not relating to what is going on. I'm not saying there should be a Minister For Men but we have to realise that men are having a difficult time.’
It’s a complex argument tied in to economics and so-called discredited male virtues but Weldon far from
shirks from the challenge. A few weeks back, Weldon found herself talking rape and victim politics. In turn, she was accused of disloyalty to the feminist cause. Mind you these days, feminism has as many camps as Greenham Common once had. But then Weldon has
never followed any one in particular.
Asked how Blair fits into Eden, Weldon is unequivocal. ’He’s the serpent, luring you into the wonderful world
Fay Weldon: getting Eden
of work.’ The lure of the career is, for Weldon, the big con of the late 20th century. Men and women slave over their Macs and then return home where they are too exhausted to even think about slaving in the kitchen. ’Eve can't be happy if Adam is not,’ feels
Weldon. Get a life Adam!
(Susanna Beaumont) 3 For details, see Hit list, right.
88 THE LIST 20-27 Aug 1998
CELEBRATING 70 YEARS
'I still write for the same reason,’ says Alan Sillitoe. ’I write
because I don’t want to die. Let’s put it like that.’ Among the most important English v0ices of the last 50 years, Alan Sillitoe, whose latest novel, The Broken Chariot, Is published next month, celebrates his 70th birthday this year.
Emerging with the original wave of Angry Young Men, Sillitoe is still most closely associated With two of his earliest works — the I958 novel Saturday Night And Sunday Morning and the story ’The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner’, both of which he adapted for the screen, creating two of the most influential British films of the 605.
His thoughts first turned to literature in 1949, after being invalided out of serwce. Havmg left school at fourteen without qualifications, Sillitoe worked in a number of Midlands factories before enlisting in the RAF. ’When I came back from active servrce in Malaya it was found I had TB,’ he recalls, ’That meant being stuck in an RAF hospital for a year. I began to read all the serious works, and also to write poetry I thought I’d maybe become a writer because there was nothing else I could do. So I JUSL sort of struggled on. Luckily, something good came out of this TB thing, because I got a pen5ion from the airforce that lasted almost ten years, during which I was writing' With deadpan irony he adds, 'Her Majesty the Queen was my patron.’
(Damien Love) a For details, see Hit list, right.
Fay Weldon See main preview, left. Fay Weldon — Adam And Eve And Tony Blair (The Scotsman Millennium Lecture) Post Office Theatre, 27 Aug, 5.30pm, [6 (£4).
Ralph Steadman On Gonzo -The Art Award-winning illustrator and bon Viveur Ralph Steadman, talks about his life, work and (maybe) his collaboration with Hunter S Thompson. See feature. Ralph Steadman On Gonzo — The Art (Meet The Author) Post Office Theatre, 23 Aug, 77.30am, £6 ([4).
Alan Sillitoe See preview, left. Alan Sillitoe — Celebrating 70 Years, Spiege/tent, 27 Aug, 2.15pm, £6 (£4).
Nick Hornby Male obsession with
football, mu5ic and the avoidance of responsibility is one way of summing up Nick Hornby's work. Another is his ability to provide cracking good yarns with more than a hint of intelligence. He reads from his latest multi-unit shifter AboutA Boy and discusses what it means to have a relationship in the 90s See prewew in this section. Nick Hornby, Post Office Theatre, 25 Aug, 77.30am, £6 ([4).
Ben Okri Last year’s Millennium lecturer reads from his most recent tome, Infinite Riches and chats about the creative process which fuels his art. See prewew in this section. Ben Okri, Post Office Theatre, 23 Aug. 7pm, [7 (£5)
Ardal O'Hanlon ’Don't call me Dugal’ is a cry which Ardal O’Hanlon may be uttering in years to come, now that Father Ted is over. His darkly comic debut novel Talk Of The Town may go some way to reshaping his public image. See preview in this section Ardal O’Han/on, Spiege/tent, 21 Aug, 7.30pm, f 7 ([5).