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It's a testament to the tremendous vitality of the legendary Will Eisner's cartooning career that his final publication (in the graphic novel format that he invented) is his first work of historical fiction. Furthermore. The Plot. which Eisner completed in the last months of his life (he died in January). is a fitting close to this New York Jew's life. investigating, as it does. the most nefarious piece of anti-Semitic propaganda ever published.

It's Subtitled The Secret Story of the Protoc0/s of the Elders of Zion. and Eisner delves into the origin of these supposed blueprints by the Jewish elders to take over the world. It's a beautifully designed book that traces the Protocols from Napoleonic France through Tsarist Russia to Nazi Germany and on into the present day where. a sad-eyed Eisner concludes. the baffling longevity of the long-ago disproved document is explained by evergreen anti- Sernitisrn. A remarkable climax to an incredible career.

(Miles Fielder)

SOCIAL MEMOIR EKOW ESHUN Black Gold of the Sun (Hamish Hamilton) 0..

Probably best known as Newsnight Review high-pitched media commentator, Ekow Eshun's memoirs take in a childhood and adolescence as an alien in both Britain‘s racially unenlightened 708 and 80s and his parents'

16 THE LIST 4—1 1 Aug 2005

native Ghana. Troubled by life in London and a past that will no longer stay buried. he returns to Ghana and. by means of this travelogue. explores the histOry of Africa's relationship with the West. the differing representations of the slave trade. the effect on the psyche of leaving (or being removed) and the

)ittersweet experience in returning.

Eshun masterfully weaves his own very personal story With a wider reflection, and through his empathetic stance and great personal honesty sheds new light on the nature of the international slave trade. of place and belonging. Both ambitious and reverential. Black Gold of the Sun is an intelligent. equitable examination of what it is to be an outsider.

(Mark Ediiiundson)


(Black Swan) 0..

Cute. personable and touching. Laura Marney Sure has some way With iSSues of heartbreak. loss and depression. Daphne heads a cast dependent on antr- depressants as she tries and fails to pick herself up in the aftermath of a shock dumping. Meanwhile. her gloomy ex seems destined to carry on bringing misfortune updri himself. and her pot-head. would-be poet neighbour seems capable of little more than taking advantage of her submissive nature.

Through effortless prose and solid cliaracterisatiori. Marney brings a refreshingly light— hearted and domestic

When Jack met JK

CHll DRFN'S rrr li-'N()Ml non JK BOWLING

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

(Bloomsbury) O...

It began just before midnight. Seventy cub reporters from the four corners of the English-speaking world were whisked up the High Street in horse- drawn carriages, and deposited in a storm of flashlights onto a red carpet in front of Edinburgh Castle. I was one of them. My assignment? To discover the real JK Rowling. My dad told me to be objective. I told him that might be hard since, as a big fan, i am basically Dobby the hero- worshipping House Elf to her Harry Potter.

As she walked into the Great Hall, our heads swivelled to watch her, like a well-synchronised family of meerkats. I asked a boy who’d never seen her what he thought. He whispered: “She‘s exactly as I imagined she would be, but a little thinner.’ JK is one of these great people who, when they walk into a room, you can see straight away what they are: witty, jolly and relaxed, not scared about what she looks like or does. And she looked really good, wearing a simple black silk jacket and skirt, and red nail varnish that matched the cushions we were sitting on.

After all the noise and TV razzmatazz outside, she brought about a sense of calm as she sat in the reading chair and selected an extract from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. She wasn‘t one of these flashy authors who rub your face in their fabulousness. Meeting her was one of my main ambitions, and so I’m now at a loss for what my next one should be. I’ve touched JK Rowling and I‘ve not washed my hands since. Dobby would understand. (Jack Fletcher)

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representation to the common woes of ordinary Scots. ller language is inherently local but never forced and her people require little introduction. such is the author's talent for conveying personality. The result is an honest. rounded and envrably simple novel that feels wholly organic in its unfolding. Nobody Loves a (Singer Rally makes for a perfectly lovely wee relationship dr'airia that. while perhaps not changing your life. is sure to brighten it.

(Mark Ediiiiirrdsoii)

"l‘llfs‘lil illfs‘ltfltY PETER SHAPIRO Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco


‘l ’artyrrig helY for leather tonight because you're not going to know Where you stand toritorioisxf says Peter Shapiro, siiriirixrrig iii) the lredonrsri‘. of tl‘e lieairl;fui lieasts who discoed. Is there really enough rnaterial to justify 782’ pages or*

H: 2; subject? Yes. Punk and disco: as different as leather chaps and drain pine leans? Shapiro says not. Just as pur‘ix was l)()lll of a disaffected white youth, New York's gay coriiiriuiirty‘. tired of conderiiiiation, partied hard. relishing "shiny, glittery surfaces; lush. soaring, f3\'-r()()j)|ll(] strings and cocaine rushes arirl reriegarlirig against the city's collapsing infrastructure and

dangerous streets.

Disco saw the DJ become as famous as the records that were spun, and Shapiro name checks all the greats arid the era defining tracks they played. lle Writes for riiuso anoiak riiaga/ine Lil/Ill}. and at shows in his acaderiirc /eal. At times his language is self indulgent. but this is a fascinating insight into a phenomenon's lifespan from underground beauty to mainstream monster. (Morag Bruce)




Karl Miller Electric Shepherd The paperback edition of this portrait of James Justified Sinner Hogg by the founding editor of the London Review of Books. Faber. Chambers Reference Reference Atlas A practical and comprehensive guide to the nations of the world covering everything from flags and defence budgets to second— hand TV sets. Chambers.

Nell Williamson & Andrew J Wilson (eds) Nova Scotia A brave new world of Scottish fiction is explored with contributions from Edwin Morgan, Matthew Fitt and Ken MacLeod. Crescent.

Tarlq Goddard The Morning Rides Behind Us When wartime is over, how do men cope with the peace? The third novel from this hot London author ponders that question. Sceptre. Ron Butlln Without a Backward Glance New and selected poems from the Scottish writer and the first English- language poetry tome from this Beirut-based publisher. Barzan Press.