the latest from Divorcing Jack author

! she addresses ’Bill demonstrated by

Colin Bateinan The brain can only take I her accomplishment that gender,

so many semi-surreal characters bungee-Jumping off into reckless plot diversions. Stick \‘VIILI it though and this ViVid fantasy thriller really starts to take shape.

Like an acid trip With a plot, Maid Of The Mist leads us to sleepy Niagara where hapless cop Frank Corrigan gets caught up in the strange case of the reincarnated Native American princess and the world's biggest ever drugs convention Naturally, the two are connected and Corrigan hooks tip With an ex-FBI agent and motley crew of village Vigilantes to crack the case, Brilliant stuff (ECI


Poetry 1999

Edited by Geordie Greig et al (Forward Publishing £7.95) 9-: e vs a: s:

3 The Fire People —A

i Collection Of Contemporary Black British Poets

Edited by Lemn Sissay (Payback Press £9.99) With any anthology of poetry, the secret to success is balance. The Forward collection has a high ratio Of hits to misses and presents a picture Of contemporary poetry as a Vibrant and eclectic endeaVOur. The overall feel is one of generosity and range, wrth big I names like Ted Hughes nestling : comfortany beside the melancholic brilliance Of Peter Joliffe's ’Lacuna’ and the sheer energy and fun of Ian Duhig's 'Jungle'

The Fire Peep/e, meanwhile, often suffers from a stagnation of theme to hold the a‘tention long Although there are many pieces of true Vision and \.vc‘-|l-renclerecl verse, such as Jackie Kay and Chris Abani's work, their 7 effect is sometimes buried by the type of self-indulgence which gives people 2 in pots/er the excuse to slash arts funding Despite the gaps left by uninspired inclusions, the stronger works create a lasting feel for the talents of black poets working in the UK today and, if read selectively, make a wortlmhile collection (CD)

GENDER BIOGRAPHY Suits Me The Double Life Of Billy Tipton

Diane Wood IvtiddlebrOOk (Virago £20) -~ ~ 2 -~

The 'double life' here is that Billy was actually Dorothy Only when the Jazz bandleader, husband of four and father of three, died aged 74 in 1989 was he revealed to his family and the world as a she

Tipton's tale was the inspiration behind Scottish author Jackie Kay’s Trumpet as well as a musical, an opera and a Jazz quartet, and Sci/ts Me proVIcles in-clepth biographical coverage to bring this story to life With ric h historical and cultural contexts. Middlebrciok's conclusions, though, i are a lzttle too neat Dorothy's re- invention of herself, for example, is compared to the creation of her hometown Oklahoma City in a day. More interesting are the gender issues

5 unlike sex, is in large part a

performance. She was the actor, he was the rOle.' Tipton’s story even Outdoes anything that Mr Springer has had to offer. (MF)


Alice Munro The Love Of A Good Woman (Chatto & Windus £14.99) * as vs rs Prose of Virtually Shaker austerity belies the shocking events in which Alice Munro's characters become entangled The Canadian writer has a novelist's scope but has made the short story her sphere, a fact this latest collection demonstrates tO perfection

These stories are united by absent men, broken Spiritually or bodily by independent or uncertain women. In the eponymous first story a nurse, outwardly practising moral superiority, prolongs the death Of a patient whose husband she later takes through a blend Of animal cunning and militaristic planning. In 'Rich as Stink' a shining girl, anxious to please, is permanently scarred in a childish dressing-up game

Alice Munro has a biographer's passion for the minutiae of her characters' lives but tempers this With narrative gaps into which the reader eases like a JlgSaW piece. Yet, you sense With discomfort that the puzzle can't be solved. The pleasure is in the questioning. (DLP)

ART PROJECT 100 Allegories To Represent The World

Peter Greenaway (Merrell HOlberton £25) vs ss- s2

Those who have followed the film

a career of Peter Careenaway Will

recognise many of his recurring themes between the eye-pleasing if mind- bamboozling covers of 700 Allegories To Represent The World, Numbers, the human body, iconography and histOry are all in there.

The creator of the frames and philosOphy in works such as Drowning By Numbers and The Pillow Book photographed IOO citizens of Strasbourg before overlaying the shots With computer-manipulated imagery. After flicking yOur way through this collection Of nude poses, there is an index Of complex 'explanations'

For those who have a mind Wide enough to take in the meanings behind Greenaway’s message, this erI be a treat. For Others, such as fellow film-maker Alan Parker who was scornful Of Britain for allowrng Peter Greenaway to make mOVies here, they won’t be finding it in their roomiest stocking. (BD)


Ellie Carr, Brian Donaldson, Clark Dunn, Miles Fielder, Rob Fraser, Kirsty Knaggs, Denyse Lyon Presley, Peter Ross, Jonathan Trew, Brendan Wallace

STAR RATINGS * vi w it 1': Outstanding * it it 1* Recommended * * * Worth a try * * So-so 1* POOr


‘3 hear

Edinburgh's Premier NightclUb

invites you to

Thursday 315t December

8pm 5am*

Tickets £10 in advance . Available from The Ark & Ripping Records Ticket Hotline: 0131 229 7733

17 Dec 1998- 7 Jan 1999 THE ll3T125