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Book Festival Despatch 4 – Wednesday 18 August

August 20, 2010

by Alan Taylor Jon McGregorRobert Sackville-WestAlasdair Gray IF novelist Jon McGregor had his way he would be read and not seen. This, however, is not acceptable in an environment in which high street  bookshops may soon become as obsolete as onion johnnies. Hence McGregor’s  appearance to...

Despatch from the Book Festival – Tuesday 17 August

August 18, 2010

by Alan Taylor Aminatta Forna 10.15 John Banville 11.30 John Burnside and David Vann BORN in Glasgow to an Aberdonian mother and a Sierre Leone father, now living in London, Aminatta Forna is a cocktail of cultures. Her father, a doctor who was also a political dissident, was murdered in 1975 in...

Edinburgh International Book Festival – Monday, 16 August

August 18, 2010

by Alan Taylor Jeanette Winterson 11.30 Hilary Spurling 14.30 Simon Callow 16.30   IT”S twenty-five years since Jeanette Winterson published her autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, which remains as fresh and tangy as it was when it first appeared. Winterson, a gamine 50...

Despatch from the Edinburgh International Book Festival I

August 16, 2010

by Alan TaylorChristos Tsiolkas Saturday 10.15 Philip Pullman Saturday 11.30 James Robertson Saturday 17.00 Andrew O’Hagan Sunday 11.30 Fatima Bhutto Sunday 15.00 IT started with a slap. Or, rather, The Slap, the fourth novel by  Christos Tsiolkas, a 44-year-old gay Australian of Greek descent....

The Future Of Reading – A Sceptical Note

July 11, 2010

  Colin Waters Please! No more about kindles and ebook readers. Enough with iPads and apps. The reading public is being hustled into believing the future of books is electronic. It’s not. Ask yourself this – what is there that the many varieties of ebook readers can do that the traditional paper-and-ink...

Out Of Print

July 5, 2010

  Colin Waters One of the pleasures of interviewing is research. In the time available, you read as much of the interviewee’s oeuvre – and at the end of the process you get to ask him or her questions about it. What could be better? Occasionally, however, you’re surprised to learn that some of...

EIBF Brochure Review

June 26, 2010

Once a decade reviewers are treated to a subversive comic masterpiece thatwrong-foots the critics. Last week, the 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival brochure was published, a pitch-perfect send-up of PR puffery so echt the majority of readers appear to believe it’s genuine. A descendant...

In another country

June 23, 2010

Being in another the country at the time – Yorkshire – I was unable to attend the launch of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the first to be ‘programmed’ by its new director, Nick Barley. The inverted commas are because Mr Barley has not programmed the entire festival...

The Driver’s Seat

March 29, 2010

Alan Taylor 29th March 2010 MURIEL Spark’s Panatella-slim novel, The Driver’s Seat, has been shortlisted for The Lost Man Booker Prize, a wheeze set up to correct a terrible injustice. In 1971 the Booker – as it was then known – changed its rules and many books which were published...

Emigration

March 2, 2010

Alan Taylor 2nd March 2010   In the light of the hysterical, paranoiac and hilarious reaction to the recent Literature Report I found the following comments by Isaac Bashevis Singer in his autobiography, Love and Exile remarkably prescient to Scotland now: “The literary scene in Warsaw, which...