Roz from the splendid up-and-coming punkoid, SIits-infiuenced band Shriek confesses an admiration for John Lennon and Anita Brookner - and it shows in her reading matter. Shriek play the Barrowland on 7 May as part of Bucketful 0f Bands. Their single ‘Giri Meets Girl’ is out now on Deceptive Records.

‘l’m just coming to the end of a Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid’s Tale. I liked it to begin with, but to be honest I’m getting a bit fed up with it now. I don’t usually like futuristic books but i read this because I really liked Atwood’s last novel Cat’s Eye. The whole book is written as a document that has been rediscovered, so it’s set in the next century. There’s been a political coup and the function of women has been reduced to breeding and the wearing of red robes - which I found peculiarly intriguing and sexy in a way. I’ve got over that now though.

‘l’m always reading a couple of books at the same time, so I’ve got Anita Brookner’s novel look At Me on the go too. I’m re-reading it. I read it at a rock festival the first time and obsessively sat in my tent reading this book and ignoring the bands that I’d paid good money to see. It’s so unlikely a book tfor me to love because it sounds so unthrilling it’s very English, very upper class and abgut a woman whose daily grind is going into a library. The book is basically about the life of this woman who works in the records department of a firm, about her life and how she feels that life has passed her by. it’s obsessiver detailed, but stops itself from being self-indulgent because the whole thing is written with a certain detachment. There is a sense that she’s amused by her own despair. It’s very, very funny and very, very sad. I was howling with laughter at it.

‘The only rock biographies I read are ones i read when I was in my teens. Quite often I go back and pore over my old John Lennon biographies because I was a huge fan of The Beatles when I was about thirteen. I’m not taking it on tour though when we go away next week [with Kingmaker], I’ve got the Isabelle Allende book House of Spirits to keep me going.’ (Ann Donald)


I Ladder Oi Years Anne Tyler (Chatto £14.99) Tyler is a woman who lives in Baltimore and writes about women living in and around Baltimore. The characters created by this award— winning novelist are prone to up and leave or merely wander off. That's j exactly what Delia Grinstead does one summer day while on holiday with her large. disjointed family.

Uncertainty. desolation and lonliness emanate from her waif-like character 3 and the polite separateness she and her family keep from one another becomes

hurtfully obvious when they cannot even recall her eye colour fora newspaper appeal after her disappearance.

But Delia. a 40-year-old woman never quite free of the uncertainty or the freckles of her youth. manages to entirely reinvent herself and her life in a matter of a few hours. So Ms Grinstead is born. Gradually. imperceptibly at first. she accumulates the invisible new responsibilities of a new existence.

This delicately constructed novel displays how ‘wavery round the edges' everyone's existence is. while it is only the childlike Delia who at least reaches a basic understanding of this doctrine. ifnot a solution. (Katy Lironi)


I Obsession Edited by Sarah Lefanu and Stephen Hayward (Serpent's Tail £8.99) Cutting edge pioneers Serpents " 'Iail. known particularly for their High ; Risk imprint. deviate to the norm with this collection of more mainstream stories based around the theme of obsession.

As the editors point out in their introduction. they are not so much concerned with serial-killers. drug abusers or the sexually violent aspects

of obsessive behaviour. rather they aim to explore obsessions which ‘normalise rather than pathologise'. Many of the writers reflect on the day-to-day aspects. the emotional hauntings that whittle away the aesthetic veneer of obsession to reveal a natural but rather plain existence underneath.

Despite its thematic link. Obsession is a fairly diverse collection: Jeff Torrington. Joyce Carol Oates and Michael Carson all contribute stories of a high and compelling standard. (Toni Davidson)


3 I The Destiny Df llathalie X William i Boyd (Heinemann £9.99) Boyd's second collection. these nine stories.

moving across the times and places of this century, represent a fairly coherent exploration ofseveral related themes.

' chiefly the will to possess and exploit


The title story may be the best example ofthis. with a prize-winning African director using the money to fund a film trip to suburban Los Angeles. Put upon by a cast of

Hollywood types. the director finally completes his film as he originally intended. to the despair of those who want a piece of him.

Two stories. The Dream Lover and Alpes Maritimes, set among the expatriate students of 60s Nice. are illustrative of a bitter recognition running through the entire collection -— what we have is never enough. what we have we abuse and what we want we‘ll never have. Baldly stated this sounds banal. but Boyd’s skill allows the complications and nuances surrounding this simple truth to make these stories. (John Cairney)


I Death of a Perfect Wife and Death of an Outsider both M. C. Beaton (Bantam £3.99) Two in a quartet of Hamish Macbeth novels. in I’erjer-t wi/e. organic iinglishwoman Trixie Thomas lures Lochdubh locals into her fads and schemes. collecting many enemies on the way. When she is murdered. Macbeth must wade through a mound of motives. ()usii/er meanwhile. sees Macbeth embroiled in the curious murder of an unpleasant Englishman whose neighbours are initially unforthcoming but gradually reveal fantastical tales. Fans of the series will identify with the books and enjoy spotting the differences. Overall. these are well-crafted. gentle reads with plenty of humour and an amiable cast.

I Third and Indiana Steve Lopez (Viking £10.99) Drug wars in downtown Philadelphia are the focus for this debut. as a mother searches desperately for her fourteen—year-old son. against a backdrop of death and violence. He meanwhile. is drug-running. a gang member and about to encounter great danger. Strong characters and a busy plot make a tight. believable and involving novel.

I Everville Clive Barker (HarperCollins £5.99) ()n a mountain top overlooking the city of liverville. a door opens on to the dream-sea of Quiddity. A band ofcitizens must explore what the sea has to offer. both to individuals and society. whilst keeping the horrors within at bay. The second volume of The (ireat and Secret Show. at 640 pages. this is an intricate epic.

I In The Lake Of Woods Tim O‘ Brien (Flamingo Original £5.99) Tagged with 'lime magazine's coveted Book of the Year award. this truly postmodern thriller melds the nightmare t)f/lpor‘rll\‘p.s'e Now with one man's odyssey into his shadowy past. This is an unsettling morality tale that takes us into the twilight zone of a Vietnam veteran and his search for his missing wife while battling with his own resurrected demons. (Susan Mackenzie)



i I Component Parts A new theatre

company present For Want Of/I Nail. written and performed by Janet Paisley and Graham Mackenzie. They are two local up-and-coming writers who aim to set new writing and poetry in a dramatic context. using theatre to present it in a focused. entertaining and accessible way. See Mayfest listings,

I Open Day Mon 8. 9am—6pm. Dillons. 174—176 Argyle Street. 248 4814. in order to prove it is the best on the block. Dillons has gone all out to make sure its customers have a very nice day. Freebies. prizes. tarot-card readings. juggling. refreshments and big band 40s sounds are on the entertainment bill. Definitely worth a visit.

I John Giorno Wed 10. 7pm. CCA. 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521. An originator of Spoken Word and performance poetry. Giorno is viewed as one of the most influential figures in this realm. See preview.

I A. l. Kennedy Wed 10. 7pm. John Smith & Son. 252 Byres Road. 334 2769. A signing and reading from one of Scotland‘s under-3O literary stars. making sure the West End knows about So, [Am Glad (Cape £9.99). insanity. perversion and alchemical romance is on the cards in this horrific. hilarious novel.

I Michele Roberts Thurs l 1. 7.15pm. Waterstone's. 45 Princes Square. 221 9650. A question and answer session. sure to attract Roberts‘ fans, featuring her latest poetry collection All The Selves I Was (Virago £5.99) and Daughters Of The House (Virago £5.99).

I William Boyd Wed 17. 6.30pm. Waterstones. 132 Union Street. 221 0890. The ultra-popular Scots author is on hand to read and sign copies of his short story collection The Destinv ofNai/talie X (Heinemann £9.99).

I Jean Binta Breeze Wed 17. 7pm. CCA. 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521. Leading dub poet and storyteller Binta established herself as a recording artist and performer in Kingston. Jamaica before making a mark on the contemporary poetry scene.


I First Friday Poems And Pints Fri 5. 7.30pm. The West End Hotel. Palmerston Place. £i/£l.50. Lively poetry with special guest Nick Toczek. a performance poet from Bradford described as ‘bitter. disturbing and political‘.

I A. l. Kennedy Tue 9. 7pm. Waterstones. l3 Princes Street. 556 3034. A reading to mark the publication of So, [Am Glad (Cape £9.99) from the gifted and beguiling author. Billed as a Swiftian satire for our times it takes us on a journey into spiritualism. insanity and perversion.

I Christopher Awdry Wed It). 2.30—3.30pm. Waterstones. l3 Princes Street. 556 3034. Full steam ahead kiddies. One for the under-fives. with an animated reading from the esteemed creator of Thomas The Tank Engine.

I lied Sherrin Thurs 11. 7pm. Waterstones. I3 Princes Street. 556 3034. That all-round wag and Radio 4 presenter is reading and signing copies of the Oxford Dictionary Of Humorous Quotations (Oxford £15.99). A dictionary bumperful of ha-ha and hee-hees. from the spiky wit of Dorothy Parker to the custard-pie comedy of the Marx Brothers. I Christian Aid Books Sale 1995 Sat I3—Fri 19. St Andrew’s and St George's Church. George Street. 225 3847. After last year's record-breaking sale there are fifteen tons of books waiting to be sold with some real collectors' items among

them. . I Billy Kay Mon 15. 6.30pm. James Thin. 57 George Street. 225 4495. Meet the man behind Knee Deep In Claret (Auld Alliance Publishing £9.95) for a talk on Scotland’s wine trade connections and a glass of the red stuff.

I William Boyd Thurs 18. 7.15pm. BBC Studios. Queen Street. Call Waterstones. 83 George Street. 225 3436 for details and free tickets. The popular and award- wining author is in conversation with The Usual Suspects David Stenhouse to talk about his short story collection The Destiny 0f Nathalie X (Heinemann £9.99).

N The List 5-18 May 1995