Latest

Inspirations at NLS: Liz Lochhead (23/02/2012)

February 25, 2012

The National Library of Scotland’s Inspiration events are based on a very simple idea; a notable personage is, essentially, let loose among the NLS’s extensive collections and asked to select and then talk about a half-dozen or so “treasures” from the shelves that reflect some of the people,...

Preview: Edinburgh Science Festival

February 8, 2012

Europe’s largest public celebration of science, the Edinburgh Science Festival, is in the process of reinventing itself, thanks in no small part to the input of new Deputy Director Amanda Tyndall. According to Festival Director Simon Gage, Tyndall has already revitalised the festival’s core adult...

Preview: StAnza 2012

February 1, 2012

StAnza — Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, now in its 15th year — certainly can’t be accused of resting on its laurels in these cash-strapped times. Well supported by a host of funders, sponsors and other partners, this year’s programme runs to five full days (14-18 March), and...

Preview: Margins Book & Music Festival 2012

January 30, 2012

Scotland has a higher number of book/literary festivals, per capita, than any other country in the world, at least according to the good people at bookfestivalscotland.com. At least 40 literary, poetic and storytelling festivals can be found the length and breadth of Scotland, ranging from pertinently...

How to fund a museum of literature (dump football)

January 30, 2012

Paul Henderson Scott’s plea for a Scottish Literary Museum next to the National Library, which ought to be supported, spurred the reflection that the fine rebuild of the National Portrait Gallery still perpetuates one nonsense and commits a new one. The gallery of great Scots round the entry court...

New poem by Aonghas MacNeacail

January 27, 2012

the true whiteness     because snow arrived   yesterday, with its settling   like linen over every hill and   house-gable, and with its   folding around young eyes,   for which it is perfect proof   that paradise was possible,   let us enjoy the...

SRB Scottish Book of the Year

December 21, 2011

Alan Taylor, editor  Alasdair Gray’s A Life in Pictures (Canongate) which was published in 2010 but won this year’s Saltire Society Prize. If the SS can stretch the calendar then so can I. Even by Gray’s standards this is an astonishing piece of work, reminiscent of Blake but actually inimitable,...

Edinburgh International Book Festival – Friday, 27 August 2010

August 30, 2010

Reviewer: Alan Taylor Kopano Matlwa and Marlene van NiekerkJoanne HarrisAlexander McCall Smith SOUTH Africa’s travails, submerged somewhat following its successful hosting earlier this year of the World Cup, resurfaced yesterday at the Book Festival. Kopan Matlwa and Marlene van Niekerk, who...

Edinburgh International Book Festival — 25 August, 2010

August 30, 2010

By Alan Taylor Naomi AldermanStory Machines: MoviesJohn Lister-Kaye SET a novel in Oxford and inevitably it draws comparisons with Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, Evelyn  Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited or Morse.Naomi Alderman’s The Lessons has been touted as an updating of Waugh’s hedonistic...

Edinburgh International Book Festival Despatch 7

August 30, 2010

Reviewer: Alan Taylor Lydia DavisMartin Rowson in Conversation with Steve BellWilliam Dalrymple * * * * THE American writer Lydia Davis, whose Collected Stories have recently been published here to hosannas from critics, took part in a programme strand concerned with The Future of Fiction.Whether...