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104 THE LIST '

compelling piece of literary fiction Acclaimed South African ‘.'-/l'|l(3l' Andre Brink pulls no punches in his examinator‘. of the effects of violence. rape. torture and loss on the l‘ll'l‘él" spirit. but he clener‘ly' n‘anages to stay the right side of shock tactics to make his point.

The story concerns tla'ina. (:ne of a shrpload ot' ‘.'.'on‘.en who arriye In Africa to escape a rnrseraole exrstence in Germany and start a ne‘.'.' lite. en", for things to get much. much '.'.’()lf3(} in a deso'ate and doomed. male— donwnate/i and '.'.'ar torn ‘.'.’£t:;l(3’{t"{l.

[5""llx manages to eke a i.;ertarh kind of olistinate hun‘ai‘ity and compassion out of :iesperate characters an desperate s'tt.ations tlioud". and as the novel railroads to a tradi‘iteI‘ '23; (Zilll’étx. the author's perfect pac'ng) and deft toucl‘. leave you max-rid a resolution that s i), rio means certain.

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BILL PRONZINI A Wasteland of Strangers :Canongate S\:I.(.I(.Il C...

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RICHARD HOLLOWAY On Forgiveness iCanongate S.‘.'I‘.99i .0.

While the new South Africa began to expunge the terrors of the past and progress into a brighter, bolder future, the Truth and Reconciliations Commission called a black widow to the stand. Having recalled the memory of her husband who had been tortured and then murdered by police officers, she stated that ‘a commission or a government cannot forgive. Only I, eventually, could do it. And I am not ready to forgive.’

Richard Holloway’s point in this essay is that such a reaction may be both natural and perfectly understandable but is the route towards a different kind of imprisonment: one that sees us locked into our own fury, leaving us incapable of moving on. And does it become easier to forgive if the wrong-doer admits their own guilt and sorrow? Were Ian Huntley or Osama bin Laden (both guilty as charged via the media) to confess all, begging on their knees, can we forgive them their

murderous deeds?

As you’d imagine, there is an undercurrent of religious wisdom from the ex-Bishop of Edinburgh, but he is just as comfortable dipping into the austere libraries of Freud and Nietzsche (the ‘two great prophets of suspicion’) and the glitzy archives of Hollywood as he is in reacquainting himself with the Testaments.

Holloway builds his framework well, but there’s a need for more examples from the here and now. Theology and atheism have been left floundering in the last year and while he addresses their flaws, Holloway gives us a tantalising flicker only of some answers to our perpetual questioning. (Brian Donaldson)

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home] And in ‘.'.’lll(:ll case it does exactly what it says ()l‘ the side of the tin pong).

Brnai‘ Preston is an a'.'-.'ard ‘-.'."lllllllt] Vancouyer journalist y'xho freelance-s for the likes of Playboy and Vogue. He also likes to get hlunted on the finest Shishkaherryz One day Hol/iiig Stone rang up and asked hrn‘ to do a feature on cannabis culture I'l his own city. an article irnpt ssihle for a US l)£ti;(}(l ‘.'."t‘li(3l' to do due to stringent zero tolerance drug la'.'.'s.

One thing; led to another and the deeply likealile. surprisingly not too paranoid Preston was oil on a ‘.'.'or|<i tour looking at the (I()ll‘ll‘tlll|l.(1‘f$ and the legalities that have ttl'()‘.'/ll up around nature's greatest gift.

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Feminine Gospels l’icailor ’)\l:).‘.I§ll .00.

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acerbic collection of poetry. For those familiar ‘.'.’lltl her y'xriting. you can expect her signature uncanny fusion of strange satire and tender ()l)f3(3l'\’£ll!()ll. But .iiilike her l)l't)‘.’:()tl53 .'.rork. / erriin/rie (iosoe/s requires a little rnore elloit. the poerns still locus on the silent female '.‘()l(I(? oeint; dominated liy the n‘:a|e. Iltll this hanch tempts you to scrape that surface.

As a set. :t succeeds in articulating; ordinary people's leelriids. ‘.'./Ill|(? siniult.‘tiieously forming] a curious sort of consolation tor common humanity. Many of the poems. like ‘Heautitul' and 'Anon'. :lrstiritttly (tont'essional leel to then‘. but each .litIl‘JlIlléIl piece can he noted for its (:ovr‘plete



With fern/nine Cosme/s. [)utty isn't asking to oe recognised as Guardian crit.c. Jackie Kay '5; lower. feminist ‘-.'.""ll(l'l or indeed Britpop poet l)t.t. iatiier‘. all of those things. (Anna lvliliah

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