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...

Edinburgh International Book Festival 6 – Friday 20 August

August 24, 2010

by Alan Taylor Jo Shapcott and Christopher ReidJanice GallowayOliver James * * * AT the Book Festival poets, like ospreys, are rarely sighted. Two of the best of British, Jo Shapcott and Christopher Reid, demonstrated what audiences are missing with a diverting and affecting reading in which words were...

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...

Blog / Discussion

Jane Haining’s Letter from Auschwitz

by Alison Metcalfe, National Library of Scotland

Rusticated… (VI)

by Brian Morton

Spring Fever

by Rosemary Goring


by Alan Taylor

Coming and Going

by Alasdair McKillop