THURSDAY 27 Glasgow Inner Visions Waterstone‘s. l53—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. £1 (ticket redeemable against price of book). Glasgow-based medium and clairvoyant Gordon Smith discusses his autobiography. lmter Visions (Two Worlds Publishing £7.95) introduced by Tricia Robertson who is Vice President of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research.


Edinburgh Review Launch Waterstone‘s. 13—14 Princes Street. 556 3034. 6.30pm. Free. The launch of the redesigned Edinburgh Review. Scotland‘s most famous literary magazine.



Telling It Without The Book Netherbow Arts Centre. 43—45 High Street. 556 9579/2647. 2-4.30pm. £8 (£5). Bea Ferguson leads a workshop for teachers. librarians and all those looking to build their confidence in oral storytelling.

SATURDAY 29 Glasgow

Contemporary Fiction Discussion Group Borders Books. 283 Buchanan Street. 222 770(1. 12.30pm. Girlfriend In A Coma by Douglas Coupland is the book under discussion.

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


Shore Poets Canons‘ Gait. 232 Canongate, 556 4481. 8pm. £1 (Free). Readings by Gael Turnbull and music from Birlinn plus two open reading sessions.



Sauchiehall Street Reading Group Waterstone's. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. Free. The group discuss Isabel Allende‘s The House Of The Spirits.

Waterstone’s/GFT Film Quiz Glasgow Film Theatre. 12 Rose Street. 332 8128. 8.45pm. £1. Mega-popular quiz so enter as a team of no more than four people and book early to avoid disappointment.


Matt Ridley Waterstone’s. 153—157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. Free. A discussion led by the author about his book on genetics. Genome: The Autobiography OfA Species In 23 Chapters (Fourth Estate £18.99).

THURSDAY 4 Glasgow

The Patrick Moore Astronomy Group Borders Books. 283 Buchanan Street. 222 7700. 7pm. Free. The subject this month is galaxy formation.


Alexander McCall Smith James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 622 8222. 6.30pm. Free. The author launches his sequel to No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Tears Of The Giraffe (Polygon £8.99). To reflect the African setting of the novels there will also be colour. music and dance. Matt Ridley James Thin. 53—59 South Bridge. 622 8222. 7pm. Free. See “ed 3.

James Robertson Whistle Binkies. 4—6 South Bridge. 557 51 14. 7pm. Free. In James Robertson's first novel. an actor finds work as the ghost of Major Weir. a religious extremist burnt at the stake in 1670. As he researches his part. he begins to uncover the real history of ()1d Edinburgh. Robertson reads from The Fanatic (Fourth Estate £10) in the

I atmospheric setting of Whistle Binkies, 3 an old Edinburgh pub. with free drink

and other surprises. Tickets available from Waterstone’s East End branch. See feature. next issue.

Tales And Legends Of Shetland Netherbow Arts Centre. 43-45 High Street. 556 9579/2647. 7.30pm. £2. Shetlander Lawrence Tulloch looks at the storytelling tradition and shares some tales, followed by discussion.



Oliver Thompson Waterstone‘s. l28 Princes Street. 226 2666. 6pm. Free. The epic 350-year-old feud between the two great clans McDonald and Campbell is discussed by historian Oliver Thompson.

. SATURDAY 6 Glasgow

Scottish Fiction Discussion Group Borders Books. 283 Buchanan Street. 222 7700. 12.30pm. Free. Potter-mania is under scrutiny in this discussion of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter/ind The

r Philosopher's Stone.

104 THE UST 27 Apr-11 May 2000

Isabel Allende's free spirit is discussed at Waterstone's, Glasgow, Tue 2 May


Michael Ondaatje Anil's Ghost (Bloomsbury £16.99) at k *

Sri Lanka in the early 905; a country torn apart by in-fighting and a bloodbath of political killings. Within this atmosphere of paranoia and confusion, Anil a young forensics expert accompanied by gruff archaeologist Sarath furtively attempts to reconstruct events surrounding the deaths of four unearthed skeletons. As their investigation deepens, Anil becomes increasingly haunted by the imagined life of 'Sailor', the only skeleton with its skull still intact.

Working within this simple framework, Michael Ondaatje combines layers of reality, memory and fantasy to examine different responses to war and destruction with the difficult relationship at the heart of the novel vividly realised. A 'reconstructed‘ outsider herself, having been educated in the West, Anil struggles to reconcile her imagination and compassion with the cool detachment required by her task. While Sarath, like so many others around him, demonstrates a shockingly pragmatic acceptance of the violence that engulfs his country.

As in the Booker~(joint)winning The English Patient, it‘s the rich, imaginative poetry of Ondaatje’s writing that impresses most. Rarely have decaying flesh, stripped bone and spiked heads been described so lyrically. Often though, the author allows his painstaking, image-laden creation of atmosphere to inhibit the story, thus robbing the narrative of

a sense of urgency.

With this and so much suppressed emotion among the characters, readers may require patience to remain interested. It's a pity that with such potent, powerful material, Ondaatje should have produced a novel that is admirable but hardly gripping. (Allan Radcliffe)

I Michael Ondaatje is in (orit/ersation at Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow on Thu

7 I May. Ani/‘s Ghost is published on Mon

Rich and imaginative but hardly gripping stuff from the former Booker winner

8 May.



Carl McDougall (‘umbernauld 'l'hcatre. Kildrum. 01236 732887. 8pm. Free. Scottish novelist Carl McDougall (The (.‘as‘anot'a Papers. The Lights Below. Stone Over Water) talks about his work and offers advice on how to get work published.



Sauchiehall Street Reading Group Watcrstone‘s. 153 ~157 Sauchiehall Street. 332 9105. 7pm. Free. As Ifby Blake Morrison is tip for analysis.



Ian White John Smith. (ilasgow

University Bookshop. l'nivcrsit} Avenue. 339 1463. 5.30pm. Free. An illustrated talk and Q&:\ by the author of ( ‘orhetts and Munros with wine.

Emma Restall Orr ()ttakai‘s Bookstore. Unit 6. Buchanan (ialleries. Buchanan Street. 353 1500. 6pm. Free. British Druid and author Emma Restall ()rr presents her book Ritual: .-l Druid 's (inn/e to Life. Love and Inspiration tllarper(‘ollins £9.99).

Michael Ondaatje Rn} a1 (‘onccrl Hall. 2 Sauchiehall Street. 287 551 1. 7pm. £2. ()ndaatjc launches Anil's (Him! in conversation with Alan Ta} Ior. See review.


Leslie Benzie \Vttlcl'sltillc's. 15 14 Princes Street. 556 3034. 7pm. Free. The launch of Scottish poet Leslie Ben/.ie's first collection of poetry. Son-n ('p (Wisdom Teeth £5.99).