Authors at

Sauchiehall Street February

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Waterstone’s in conjunction with The Herald present John Le Carré, master spy novelist in conversation with Brian Morton from BBC Radio Scotland.

Tickets £4/L3 concession (wit/1 [.2 rcdccmal/Ic (minim the new 11001:) CSINGLE AND SINGLE’

at The Mitchell Theatre, Granville Street, Glasgow



will be reading from and talking about his much anticipated novel

‘GLAMORAMA’ at The Arches as part of INTERVENTION, a festival of fashion and design.

Tickets (Vi/£3 concession (with [2, rcdccmablc against rbi' price of ‘( ilamomma ’)


0141 332 9105

96 THE “81’ 18 Feb-4 Mar 1999

CYBER CULTURE My Tiny Life Jillian Dibbell (Fourth Estate £16.99)

if you think MUD is something that earth turns to when it rains. Julian Dibbell's debut is probably not for you. Written in the kind of obligue IT speak that only hardcore computer users understand. this is a book which immediately separates the geeks from the rest of us.

As social history it has some merit. Drawn from the author's real-life experiences of 23-hour-a- day online socialising from a Palo Alto computer in 1994, it offers an insider's insight into the communication networks that pre- empted the lnternet and those who navigated them.

And herein lies the problem with the appropriately titled My Tiny Life. The view from inside the early online gaming and chat channels known as MUDs (multi-user dimension) and their environment-centred relations the M00 (don't ask). is not half as interesting as those looking out might imagine. Anyone who has tasted the thrill of an intense e-mail friendship will understand the heightened buzz that Dibbell and his associates gained from hanging out in MUD's parallel universe. But if ever there was a case of you-had-to~be-there. this is it.

Flitting smartly between virtual reality and real life sections. Dibbell occasionally manages to illuminate this other world for the casual reader. But mostly he simply blinds with computer science, adding quasi. metaphysical meaning to that which should remain firmly within the realms of the Internet chat room. Get a life by all means. Just don't get My Tiny Life. (Ellie Carr)

my ting life

; Chester Himes (Serpent's Tail £6.99) *‘k‘k‘kk

publishers and a limited readership,

’The Black writer must not only reveal the truth’, the author told a Chicago

2 ship for France that year and never

This, his first novel, details Robert Jones’s emotional and intellectual struggle against his white bosses, racist work colleagues and recurrent self-accusations of ’Uncle Tom-ism’. 'To hell with the world’, he curses. ’And if there were any more little worlds, to hell with them too!’ Comic book nihilism is thus given powerful meaning by the evil of prejudice and f loathing.

An indelible influence on subsequent Black writers like Walter Mosley, Himes's work remains angry, unconditional, overwhelming. A most elevated expression of humanity. (RE)


Ana Veciana-Suarez (Canongate £12.99) t * * it They’d have Hispanic actresses like

Jennifer Lopez and Rosie Perez in The Chin Kiss King if Hollywood ever made a movie of the book. Prime Tinseltown material, Veciana-Suarez's debut is the story of three generations


If He Hollers, Let Him Go


‘nashaitffimasa . of Cuban women united by their love shrickm flight ' 5' I a I . of a newborn child.

It would be easy to describe this as a meeting of Fried Green Tomatoes and How To Make An American Quilt, except The Chin Kiss King goes to great lengths to avoid cheap sentiment and a happy ending. Set in photogenic Miami, it has ethnic and female audience appeal and employs a proven literary formula in magic realism. The characterisations are less cinematic and commercial, but more literary and aesthetically satisfying.

Switching between narrators and streams of consciousness, Veciana-

lecture in 1948, ’but also reveal and underline this higher quality of humanity.’ Chester Himes boarded a

returned, frustrated by timid

though his later and acclaimed Harlem Cycle revisited the Afro- American Dream with epic wit and intensity.