THE BIGGER PICTURE Ronan Bennett -- Visions Of Africa

Ronan Bennett: into Africa

It may seem odd that Ronan Bennett's Edinburgh appearance is billed Wsions Of Africa. As author, journalist. commentator and as a man, Bennett is identified with the political. spiritual and geographical landscapes of Ireland. While as a screenwriter. he is perhaps best known for the London warrens of Face. Anyone who has read his excellent last novel. The Catastrophist, however, will understand. Set in, the late 50s during the last days of colonialism in the Congo. with its brief independent government and the stark threshold of Mobutu's coup, a of place shimmers.

At the novel‘s centre lies the relationship between a detached writer. Gillespie. and his politically-engaged leurnallrit lover. Ines. But why then and there? 'l‘d become'involved ina debate about therole of the writer in a polarised society.’ Bennett explainsflwanted'to explore that question. but l didn't want to set it In nanometers ebulous'reasons. A friend who had been an Africancorrespondent'mentioned the Congo.’ Did he resolve the question for himself? 'A'h'.’no.il thalith i knew where I stood. . . But the book's an exploration; Not a resolution! (Damien Love) e Ronan Bennett ~ Visions Of Africa (The Bigger Picture) Studio Theatre, 23 Aug,

legitimate female perspective, about returning home to a past that

doesn’t change, no matter how fast the rest of the world marches on. It's a story familiar to us all.

(Nicky Agate)

a Bernard MacLaverty (Scottish Writers For Breakfast) Spiege/ten t, 26 Aug, 70.15am, £5 (£3).

e Bernard MacLaverty And Jennifer Johnston (The Bigger Picture) Studio Theatre, 26 Aug, 3.30pm, £5 (£3).

Glasgow twenty years ago, describing it in his latest novel Grace Notes as 'Belfast without the troubles.’

MacLaverty has been absent from the literary scene for the last fourteen

years blaming this lack of output to be due to two factors - firstly, he gave up his pipe (an elementary part of his writing procedure) and secondly, he's a lazy bastard.

Grace Notes , however, was worth the wait. It's a beautiful, insightful novel, told from an impressively

Literary ecture v 1998


William McIlvanneyi . will be delivering

I The Post Office Literary Lecture

“I bear t/ae Boo/c id aying «- Come roam? ant) ware/a t/ae' ' y I funeral on '_ , ’, ' .’ '

V on Tuesday25, August: at

in The Post _ Office '- ,

20-27 Aug 1998 THE on as