It looks like being a vintage year for Scottish novelists.

Words: Brian Donaldson

Ian Warner is not exactly what you‘d call

prolific. Since his 1995 debut Morvern Cal/ar.

he‘s managed to knock out another two. These Demented Lands and The Sopranos. Not for him the book-a-year syndrome that the publishing world appears to demand. And good for him; this means that a new Warner novel is a special event.

The Man Who Walks (Apr) details the journey of a homeless drifter to recover a stolen pub kitty. As he gets closer to the thief. he encounters many a strange individual and surreal event on the way.

Another Scottish writer not prone to churning is Janice Galloway whose Clara (Jun) is based on the life of the 19th century composer Clara Schumann. A radical departure is promised from the writer of The Tn'ck ls To Keep Breathing whose collaboration with Sally Beamish on Monster is staged by Scottish Opera in February. Irvine Welsh has finally suCCumbed to the pull of Begbie and co by penning Porno (May); yep. it's effectively Trainspotting 2. Bobby Carlyle has already counted himself out of the all-too inevitable film.

Among those Scottish writers imbued with the book— a-year ethic are Val McDermid. Christopher Brookmyre and Iain Banks. This year. McDermid publishes The Last Temptation (Feb). Brookmyre gives us his Sacred Art Of Stealing (Oct) while a new, untitled Banks book should arrive in September.

Other Scots with new publications are James Kelman (And The Judges Said. Apr). Jackie Kay (Why Don ’t You Stop Talking. Jan) Hugh Collins (The Licensee. May) Ronald Frame (Permanent Violet. Mar). Alice Thompson (Pharos. Jun). Alexander McCall Smith (The Kalahari Typing School For Men. Jun) and Luke Sutherland (Sweetmeat. Feb). That work-shy fop Michel Faber will have two books out: a novella called The Courage Consort in January and a sweeping Victorian London-era epic. The Crimson Petal (Oct).

The cult of celebrity means that biography is still incredibly popular. These folk will be writing their own life stories: Fay Weldon (Auto Da Fay. May). John McEnroe (Serious. May). Steve Strange (Blitzed. Mar) and Barry Humphries (You Could Be Happy Here, Nov) while Kirk Douglas shows he's smiling through the misery with My Stroke Of Luck (Mar).

However. the story we‘re most excited about hearing of is that of Bill Hicks. The American comedy legend died in 1994 and the first two major biogs are on their way. Cynthia True gives us American Scream (Feb) while the second half of the year sees Laughing: The Life And Works Of Bill Hicks by Nick Doody. The man himself will no doubt be chuckling in his grave.

20 THE LIST 7- ..'ar‘ .7"???

Look out, the Americans are coming. But the Brits have a few crackers up their sleeves in response. Words: Mark Robertson

001 saw a huge US invasion -— and then

there was the musical one too. This

spring may see another such influx »~ in the same numbers most certainly -— but all rolled into one band: Lambchop. No strangers to our shores. Lambchop. led by the incorrigible Kurt Wagner. made two Visits last year and generated a tangible excitement for a music less abrasive than The White Stripes or considered than The Strokes punk headline grabbers. The fourteen— piece have a telling. gentle but most definiter fucked-up country vrbe geing and Is A l't/oinaii (18 Feb) is reputed to be their best ever. They top this off With a live show at Glasgow's Old Fruitinarket (l 1 May).

Larnbchop are not the only act from across the Atlantic to drop something that Will take our breath away. but doesn't require troops and gunships for back up. New York rapper Mos

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Closer to l)t)ll‘(?. {l sri‘attei "t: e' . ‘-.:- (2.; names lying lots; last year ‘.'.v!l energy: '."‘ ' - LPs under their arms and he anal“. dates 1‘ support. these incli; rit- Supergrass. Suede and Oasis. who have albuii‘s gili but compete l. but as yet untitled. and scheduled ‘or Marvl‘. Others parading their alliiiii‘ mares ar::..:‘..i a"..- Primal Scream siiiiwiw'. Richard Ashcroft if3lill‘ll‘trll. Amen st‘ri'gi. Chemical Brothers