occupying the territory between the emotional intelligence of Jane Smiley (a fan of Kingsolver) and the suburban magic of Alice Hoffman, this Orange Prize-shortlisted wonder sees Kingsolver taking a giant and irreverSIbIe leap into the TlldJOl league of American novelists. (le1)

D VORCE COMEDY Bitter Sweet Symphony

Shyama Perera (Sceptre £10) * *

Any woman foolish enough to marry a bloke calling himself Buster Goodholme is asking for trouble in the domestic bliss department. In Shyama Perera's follow-up to the acclaimed Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet, the hitherto prototype husband unceremoniously dumps Wile Nina to share his mid-life crisis With another woman, forcing Nina to reinvent herself as a single working mother

Armed With excesswe Wll and self- awareness as well as a super- supportive circle of family and friends, Nina copes effortlessly Without Buster (whose cartoon moniker befits his two- dimensional male ineptitude), predictably slipping back into her lucrative JOb as a London copywriter and attracting eligible bachelors With her new-found confidence

Perera’s writing is lively and direct, her observations on the fragile nature of love and commitment occasionally insightful. However, the book's Ultimate ’Battle Cry For Woman Power'

is gratineg simplistic while Nina's experience of divorce seems a bit too painless. (AR)


I, Tituba: Black Witch Of Salem

Maryse Conde (Faber £7.99) s t a

Among the Witches of Salem, where hysterical acwsations sent innocents from that puritanical Massachusetts Village to their deaths in 1692, was a black slave. Historical records tell us little more about Tituba than her questioning, trial and imprisonment along With over 50 other women. Caribbean writer Maryse Conde has given this little-known woman a fictional life, from her birth as a slave in Barbados, to her return and death there after her release.

Most iritrigtiing Of Conde's imaginings is the creation of an empathic African magic, which Tituba learns as a child. Her practice of it in America contrasts tellineg to the disturbing beliefs and rituals among the ptiritan community.

Btit while there is plenty of fascinating detail of the time and place ~ all of which has echoes of modern hypocrisies »« Conde’s attitude is too modem to be realistic and detracts heaVily from what she is trying to say. (TD)


Steve Cramer, Thom Dibdin, Miles Fielder, Rob Fraser, Mona Jeffrey, Doug Johnstone, Denyse Presley, Allan Radcliffe

Authors at


in February


HL’IIIiIlflII’fil’ ’5 '1 rarely


£3(£2 oono) *

IAN RANKIN (WITH PAUL JOHNSTON) Set In Dar/amiss Ci" l/Vaz‘cr ()fI)mt/J



'Tickets for Eden and the Assembly Rooms available from

West End FEB 12.30PIVI 1THUO East End FEB 7PM Ulldt‘l' '1 716 8/8171 THU Ass/Rms FEB 7.3OPlvl THU Eden 2 2 Km FEB 7.30PIVI ( 1H” .111 three branches

Canongate Prize Book Scotland Into the New Era

OUT NOW £34.99


83 George Street. Edinburgh

tel: 0131 225 3436

West End. 128 Princes Street. Edinburgh tel: 0131 226 2666

East End. 13—14 Princes Street. Edinburgh tel: 0131 556 3034/5

92 THE LIST 3—1 7 Feb 2000



m Edinburgh

The Macallan Masterclass With Laura Hll'd \K'aterstone's. 128 Princes Street. 226 2666. 7pm. Free btit ticketed. Laura llird talks about the art of writing and getting published in Scotland.

North Lanarkshire

2000 Words Literary Festival Various venues. North Lanarkshire. A wide ranging event around the theme of' literature running until Saturday 5 February. with appearances by children's writers Aileen Paterson. Bea Ferguson and James Campbell and author talks by Bernard Mac Laverty. Edwin Morgan. Chris Dolan. (iordon Legge and Margaret Thomson Davis. For full details contact North Lanarkshire Council Community Services on ()141 304 1956.

FRIDAY 4 Edinburgh

Michael Palin Waterstone’s. I28 Princes Street. 226 2666. 12.30pm. Free. The former Python slithers north for a signing session to mark his travels in the footsteps 01' Hemingway.

SATURDAY 5 Glasgow

Going Public The 'l‘ryst. (‘resswell Street. 339 1588. 4.15pm. Free. Tea. poetry. iiitisic and comedy from the workshop leaders ol' Survivors’ Poetry Scotland.

Cabaret In The Cafe Borders Books. 283 Buchanan Street. 222 7700. 8pm. Free. Robert Knox hosts a unique mix of music. performance poetry. spoken word and stand tip comedy.

MONDAY 7 Glasgow

Liz Lochhead Survivors' Poetry Scotland. 30 (‘ranworth Street. 357 6838. 7.30—l0pm. Free. Lil. Lochhead gives a talk on exploring the voice ol hoetry.

TUESDAY 8 Glasgow

Pauline McLynn \k'aterstone's. 153-157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. £1 (ticket redeemable against price of the book). Mrs Doyle of Father 'Ietl lame reads from her Iirst novel. a crime caper called Sinner/ting For The ll'eekend (Headline £9.99).


Rita Rogers Borders Books. 283 Buchanan Street. 222 7700. 7pm. Free. Practising medium for 30 years. whose list of former clients includes police forces around the country and Princess Diana. discusses her new book Squ Mares (Macmillan £6.99). a practical and spiritual guide to finding true love. Apparently.

The Macallan Masterclass With Chris Dolan Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. Free bttt ticketed. In association with Smilaan on Sunday. this prestigious competition for short story writers is introduced by Chris Dolan who won the award live years ago and will be offering advice to potential entrants.

THURSDAY 10 Glasgow Better Crack Club Sloan's. The Argyll Room. Argyll Arcade. 8pm. £2 (donation). For further details call 01506 847935. Share your short stories and tall

tales at Glasgow's storytelling club.


Michel Faber Waterstone's. 13—14 Princes Street. 556 3034. 7pm. Free. The highly acclaimed debut from Faber.

( 'mler The Skin (Canongate £10) has been likened to both Animal Farm and Eraser/read.



Hot Air Club l3th Note Club. 260 Clyde Street. 243 2177. 8.30pm. £4 (£2). Featured writers include Donna Campbell. Paul Welsh. Chris Dolan and Laura Hird. Musical accompaniment is provided by the Hellfire Cltib.

SATURDAY 12 Glasgow Even Better Crack Club Lansdowne Church Hall. 420 Great Western Road. 337 231 l. l0am—noon. £1 (donation). For further details contact 01506 847935. More tallish tales. traditional and new. for all the family with resident yarnspinners Frances Logan. Ewart McVicar and Michael Kerins.


Ottakar'sIT he Herald Children's Book Day ()ttakar‘s Bookshop. Unit 16. Cameron Toll Shopping Centre. 6 Lady Road. 666 1866. 9.30am. Free. A day of events dedicated to children's books including the announcement of the results of the readers‘ poll. My I-‘ai'ourite Book

a 3%

Martin Taylor Borders Books. 283 Buchanan Street. 222 7700. 7pm. Free. (iuitarist Martin Taylor is launching lilasters (2/‘Jrizz Guitar (Outline Press £24.95) with a special performance and signing.


La Storia Di Salvatore Giuliano Italian Cultural Institute. 82 Nicolson Street. 668 2232. 6pm. Free. A storytelling performance by Nino Rocco.

WEDNESDAY 16 Glasgow

Cherry Good Waterstone‘s. 153457 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. Free tickets. Book launch and slide show of Goods ()n The Trail ()fJnhn Muir (Ltiath Press £7.99). The amazing Mr .‘vluir was born in Dunbar in 1849. moved to the US. became an internationally renowned mountaineer and presidential advisor.


: Glasgow

Des Dillon Glasgow Family Support Group. West Street Centre. 123 West Street. 12.30—2.3()pm. Free. Author of" Return Of The Bushy Babes (Headline £6.99) and former Castlemilk writer in residence leads a prose-writing workshop and offers feedback on any material

brought to the workshop.

New Scottish Writers Evening Waterstone‘s. 153—157 Sauchiehall

Street. 332 9105. 7pm. Free tickets. Citron Press's batch of Scottish authors host an evening of their works. The

writers in question are David Turner. Julie Alpine and Charlotte Fairbaim. Yes.

' her dad was the highly controversial Tory.

Sir Nick. Edinburgh

Ian Rankin 8: Paul Johnston Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street. 220 4349. 7.30pm. £3 (£2). Crime night with blockbuster author Rankin reading from his latest. Set In Darkness (Orion £16.99) and Johnston whose recent book Water 0/ Death (Hoddcr & Stoughton £5.99) was a Christmas bestseller. See review, page 9/.