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Paperbacks

Constance by Patrick McGrath (Bloomsbury, £7.99)

Constance by Patrick McGrath (Bloomsbury, £7.99)

Ever the master at psychological depth in his characters, McGrath has given us the beguiling but clearly troubled Constance, married unexpectedly and quickly to a university professor much older than she is. This beguiling tale of deception and betrayal is told first by Constance in her unreliable voice, and then by her husband's quietly authoritative one.

All Art Is Political: Writings On Performative Art by Sarah Lowndes (Luath, £9.99)

Performance art grew out of the counterculture movement as a way of connecting the individual more with society, but even though that era has passed, performance art is still very much at the forefront of contemporary art. Lowndes takes us through five interviews with artists, including Glasgow's Richard Wright, in an accessible and illuminating volume.

The Visitors by Patrick O'Keefe (Blooomsbury Circus, £12.99)

In the midst of O'Keefe's slow-building story about an Irishman who has run away from his past in his home land for the US, and who is waiting for an unwanted visit from someone he once knew there, is an emphasis on how people tell lies (a tramp at the door, the sister of a woman abandoned pregnant by a soldier).

Stone Voices: The Search For Scotland by Neal Ascherson (Granta, £9.99)

Scots writers have reputedly had a hard time interesting London publishers in books about the Independence debate, which is perhaps why, as some have lately woken up to the tremendous issue that it is, reissues are suddenly appearing. Whatever the reason, Ascherson's re-issued 2002 history is hugely welcome, being both erudite and thorough.

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