For twenty years Francis Spufford wrote very novelistic non-fiction, and in 2016 won the Costa, Ondaatje and Desmond Elliot Prize for his first novel Golden Hill, a piece of fiction steeped in fact. Francis discusses his most recent book, the essay collection True Stories, which reflects on different kinds of storytelling.
Twice Booker-shortlisted Jim Crace joins us to discuss his latest novel The Melody, an ecological fable for our times. The book follows recently widowed musician Albert Busi, whose chance encounter with a strange creature has repercussions for his town that spiral quickly out of his, and everybody’s, control.
After a very public meltdown, Barry Cohen flees his life in New York for Texas in the pursuit of happiness and a second chance at love. Witty, irreverent and full of heart, Gary Shteyngart’s new novel Lake Success is a riotous, illuminating romp through Trump’s USA on a Greyhound Bus.
Children’s literature superstar Robin Stevens joins us to talk about the latest book in her best-selling Murder Most Unladylike series, in which Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong travel to Hong Kong - and Hazel is framed for murder! Join Robin as she leads a murder mystery session followed by audience Q&A and signing.
Helen Pankhurst is a women’s rights activist and great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst. She is also the author of Deeds Not Words, a biography of the Suffragette movement published on the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote. In this talk, Helen explores the Suffragette movement, what has changed, and what there is still to achieve.
Acclaimed historian Jenny Uglow joins us to discuss her sumptuous new biography of Edward Lear, the celebrated poet and illustrator whose ‘nonsense’ popularised the limerick, and his times. From giving Queen Victoria drawing lessons to suffering from epilepsy and depression, Lear’s biographer will be with us to discuss the great man and what drew him to her.
In prose that is both lyrical and essayistic, Julian Fuks deploys a fictional self to explore the circumstances leading to his parents, a young militant couple in the resistance against the military regime in 1970s Buenos Aires, adopting a young boy before fleeing to Brazil and their life afterwards. Julian will be in conversation with his translator Daniel Hahn and Charco Press co-director Carolina Orloff.
A pervading sense of history and place as well as the inner lives of women connects Scottish writers working today: Sandra Ireland, author of Bone Deep, and Sarah Maine, author of Women of the Dunes. Join us for a discussion of their novels, writing practice and what it is like to be a female Scottish writer today.
Author Aminatta Forna, author of the Orange Prize-shortlisted The Memory of Love returns with her new novel Happiness, in which Attila and Jean, two strangers to London - and each other - share a chance encounter. Aminatta joins us to discuss this beautiful story of connection, past grief and the undercurrents of a big city.
The first of two events featuring Edinburgh publisher Charco Press and their talented authors experimenting with fiction and autobiography. In Older Brother, author Daniel Mella attempts to narrate his brother’s fatal accident and navigate his own grief by using the future tense, in a luminous exploration of brotherhood and death. With Charco co-director Carolina Orloff.
Inspired by the life of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, The Dictionary of Animal Languages is the debut novel by extraordinary new talent Heidi Sopinka. From wealthy English upbringing to discovering creative fulfilment and passion in interwar Paris, we follow artist Ivory Frame from youth to old age, and how life never fails to surprise us.
Described as the ‘wild card’ on last year’s Man Booker shortlist, Elmet is a stunning work of fiction by debut author Fiona Mozley. Daniel lives with his sister Kathy, and Daddy, whose desire for a simple, peaceful life is denied to him by men with power. A gothic novel of place, violence and family.
Sarah Moss has garnered a reputation for writing about place, family and what makes us who we are. In her new novel, Ghost Wall, teenager Sylvie goes along with her father’s hobby: acting out Iron Age life at an experimental archaeology camp. In a literary blending of old and new, Sylvie unearths an age-old narrative of male power and female solidarity.
Over the last 35 years, Victoria Crowe has established herself as one of Scotland’s leading painters whose work is instantly recognisable. Tying in with A Certain Light, an exhibition of her work at The Scottish Gallery this summer, Victoria discusses her work with Scotsman art critic Duncan Macmillan, who has literally written the book on the subject.
In 1940, during the Phoney War, a French destroyer blows up in the Firth of Clyde. Join author Neal Ascherson to explore his writing, and particularly how he captures this moment in the history of Clydeside. Atmospheric and brimming with historical detail, this novel is an unforgettable recreation of life in wartime.
Simultaneously silly and serious, Tom Gauld adds a lightness to traditionally highbrow themes in Baking With Kafka. Timely, distinctive and droll, it’s not hard to see why he is one of the most celebrated cartoonists working today. Come and watch Tom draw and chat about his life in comics - an event to make you laugh and make you think.
From the tip of Cornwall to the Isle of Mull, Amber Massie-Blomfield takes the road less travelled to discover Britain’s most astonishing and unexpected theatres. A ruined playhouse, haunted halls, a stage hewn from granite cliffs. Will your favourite theatre be in there? Come and prepare for August’s plethora of festivals with this enchanting event, and fall in love with theatres all over again.
Owl Sense is a book about the wild in nature and in the unpredictable course of our human lives. In her watching and deep listening to all thirteen species of European owls, and in the ways her family changes whilst she does so, Miriam Darlington cleaves myth from reality and brings the strangeness and magnificence of these creatures to life.