Monthly Archives: August 2017

A new episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scottish Literature is now available

Podcast Logo1As we head into the excitement of Edinburgh’s festival month, Kristian and I are delighted to bring you the latest episode of our podcast A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scottish Literature! We have a raft of Birlinn writers at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in this 25th anniversary year, and we hope you toddle along to Charlotte Square to join in in all the booky chat. In the meantime, Kristian and I are delving deep in Scotland’s divided self in this podcast episode, where we take a look at James Hogg’s classic novel, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

Hogg’s novel is an unclassifiable masterpiece, straddling many themes and genres. It can be billed as a classic gothic horror, a satire on bigotry and hypocrisy, an acute representation of mental breakdown, an exploration of totalitarian modes of thought, a way-ahead-of-its-time post-modern study on the nature of truth and authorship. It was hard trying to contain our conversation – there’s so much to say about this wonderful book.

Enlightenment EdinburghWe stay within the same period and setting with an interview with the fascinating Sheila Szatkowski who is an expert in all things Enlightenment Edinburgh and has just written an excellent guide to the people, places, and ideas of the period. She really brings the city of the time alive in this new book, and invites the reader to get exploring – you will definitely discover something you didn’t know before as you read.

So, let’s step back in time and celebrate a most intriguing time in Scotland’s history . . .

Have a look on our website at some similar titles:

 

Enlightenment Edinburgh: A Guide

The Capital of the Mind

Agreeable Connexions

Brilliant Lives

You can listen to episode 5 on Soundcloud or iTunes.

Birlinn at the EIBF

August in Edinburgh means only one thing: festival season. All too quickly, August has come around again and we are a very busy office, getting ready for our favourite festival: Edinburgh International Book Festival. EIBF is a highlight in our calendar every year and this year is no different with a ton of exciting Birlinn events taking place throughout the Book Festival.

Read on to find out what our authors will be involved in this year…

SATURDAY 12th AUGUST

Joan Lennon and Paul Magrs: Sensational Sci-Fi

Lennon,-JoanBe transported to faraway worlds with two fascinating writers. Joan Lennon’s Walking Mountain involves a race against time to save the planet from disaster, while the second instalment in Paul Magrs’ Mars trilogy, The Martian Girl, sees Lora struggle for survival. Get top tips for creating your own sci-fi stories as you learn how to develop intricate settings and epic adventures.

This event is suitable for age 12+.

Date: Saturday 12th August

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Bosco Theatre

Tickets: Adult/Child – £5.00

 

Michael Pederson: The Poetry of Performance, Bosco Theatre

Michael-PedersenHear the fruits of a very special residency bringing together some of Scotland and Australia’s finest spoken word. Book Festival regulars Jenny Lindsay and Michael Pedersen have joined forces with Omar Musa, a Malaysian-Australian author, rapper and poet who has released both hip-hop records and poetry books, and Luka Lesson, an Australian spoken word artist and musician of Greek heritage whose debut poetry book, The Future Ancients, is a bestseller.

Date: Saturday 12th August

Time: 8.15pm

Venue: EIBF, Bosco Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

SUNDAY 13th AUGUST

Sheila Szatkowski: Enlightenment City, Garden Theatre

sheila-szatkowskiWhen Voltaire said, ‘We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation’ he was mainly thinking of Edinburgh. It may no longer be the intellectual hub of the western world, but as Sheila Szatkowski shows in Enlightenment Edinburgh, a guide to the 18th century city, it is still recognisably the same place it was in David Hume’s day.

Date: Sunday 13th August

Time: 11.00am

Venue: EIBF, Garden Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Iain and Anne Fraser: Art of Midlothian, Bosco Theatre

_MG_2889-copyright-Gary-DoakAn hour of pure Edinburgh indulgence in the form of a personal journey exploring the city. For A Sketchbook of Edinburgh, Iain Fraser and Anne Fraser Sim, owners of the Elephant House café, have commissioned 150 works from four local artists to illustrate their favourite journeys through the city, and they provide an accompanying cultural, historical and architectural commentary.

Date: Sunday 13th August

Time: 12.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Bosco Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Ron Butlin: Day of the Trolls, Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab

PHOTO---RON-BUTLINAward-winning author Ron Butlin returns with more trolling around in his latest picture book Day of the Trolls! This time, the naughty trolls are causing havoc at the supermarket. Get wild in the aisles with lots of laughs, stories and rollicking rhymes.

This event is suitable for ages 4-7.

Date: Sunday 13th August

Time: 1.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab

Tickets: Adult/Child – £5.00

 

Malachy Tallack, Kevin MacNeil & Jenni Fagan, Studio Theatre

OUTRIDERS: THE REUNION

authorspreadFrom the Arctic Circle to Buenos Aires, our Outriders accumulated an incredible 67,500 miles on planes, trains and automobiles interrogating the socio-political landscape of the Americas. Harry Giles and Katherena Vermette journeyed through Canada to Hudson Bay; Malachy Tallack and Jennifer Haigh drove from Fargo to New Orleans; Jenni Fagan and Bonnie Jo Campbell travelled from the Rust Belt to Silicon Valley; Ximena Escalante joined playwright Stef Smith to cross Mexico; Kevin MacNeil and Mariana Enriquez explored Buenos Aires before voyaging to Cordoba in search of a UFO. At this special reunion, we present all 10 Outriders as they describe their intrepid expeditions.

Date: Sunday 13th August

Time: 8.45pm

Venue: EIBF, Studio Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Ron Butlin courtesy of Regi Claire

MONDAY 14th AUGUST

Ron Butlin: Steve and FranDan, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre

ISLAND ADVENTURES WITH RON BUTLIN AND JANIS MACKAY

Delve into two captivating tales with award-winning writers Ron Butlin and Janis Mackay. Ron’s Steve & FranDan Take on the World features a one-woman quest to rescue her friends, while Janis’s Wild Song is the delightful story of a boy who overcomes his fear of water. Meet the authors and find out how their adventures unfold.

This event is suitable for ages 10-14.

Date: Monday 14th August

Time: 3.45pm

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre

Tickets: Adult/Child – £5.00

 

Christopher Fleet, Margaret Wilkes & Charles Withers: Scotland Mapping the Islands, Studio Theatre

Fleet, Wilkes & Withers credit Bob McDevittScotland: Mapping the Islands by Christopher Fleet, Margaret Wilkes and Charles Withers, is not only the first full-length study of the subject but a work of great beauty too. Let them lead you on a journey of understanding, from 16th century Italian map-makers blithely inventing ‘fantasy islands’ to the strangely incomplete maps of the 19th century and on to today’s advanced digital mapping techniques.

Date: Monday 14th August

Time: 5.30pm

Venue: Studio Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Jenni Fagan & Bonnie Jo Campbell

USA: FROM THE RUST BELT TO SILICON VALLEY

As part of our project to explore the Americas, short story writer Bonnie Jo Campbell travelled across her home country with Scottish novelist and poet Jenni Fagan. The two writers started in derelict Detroit, then visited a tented city in Chicago and the Tesla car factory in California’s Silicon Valley, meeting a vast array of extraordinary people along the way. Today they share some of their unforgettable experiences, and some of the writing inspired by the journey.

Jenni-Fagan2Date: Monday 14th August

Time: 8.30pm

Venue: Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre

Tickets: £8/£6 (Concession)

 

TUESDAY 15th AUGUST

Malachy Tallack & Barry Smith, Garden Theatre

UNCOVERING THE JOYS OF ISLANDS

Malachy portraitYou may not know that islomaniacs are an actual thing, but Barry Smith would certainly consider himself one. His love of islands has existed for as long as he can recall and he aims to translate that enthusiasm into this event. He is joined by Shetland-raised Malachy Tallack, the acclaimed writer of Sixty Degrees North, who has most recently written The Un-Discovered Islands, exploring the myths and mysteries of forgotten lands from Atlantis to Antilla. Chaired by Rosemary Burnett.

Date: Tuesday 15th August

Time: 12.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Garden Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Alexander McCall Smith: Scotland Street and Beyond, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

ams_for-websiteAs well as being one of world’s bestselling and best-loved writers (he just won Medal of Honour for Achievements in Literature from the Arts Club of New York), Alexander McCall Smith has one of the most infectious giggles around. Expect to hear it as he discusses what Isabel Dalhousie, Mma Ramotswe and the inhabitants of 44 Scotland Street are up to.

Date: Tuesday 15th August

Time: 1.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Outriders: Kevin MacNeil & Mariana Enriquez

ARGENTINA: IN SEARCH OF UFOS

MacNeilAs part of our project to explore the Americas, Scottish novelist Kevin MacNeil travelled around Argentina with journalist, novelist and short story writer Mariana Enriquez. Starting in Buenos Aires, the writers set off in search of lost voices, both literary and of other citizens within the capital city. MacNeil travelled across the Pampas to the city of Cordoba, while Enriquez embarked on her own journey into the imagination of a Scottish writer, both in search of UFOs. Today they share some of their unforgettable experiences, and some of the writing inspired by the journey. Chaired by Nick Barley.

Date: Tuesday 15th August

Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Venue:  Bosco Theatre (George Street)

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Tea, Cake & Colouring in with Eilidh Muldon, The Spiegeltent

Eilidh-Muldoon-2Come along and have fun colouring in some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes and monuments featured in Eilidh Muldoon’s latest book, The Hebridean Colouring Book. Get tips on using colour to create stunning illustrations, perfect your colouring skills and enjoy a cup of tea, or juice, and a slice of cake – all included in the ticket price.

This event is suitable for families and age 8+

Date: Tuesday 15th August

Time: 4.00pm

Venue: The Spiegeltent

Tickets: Adult/Child £9

 

Stuart Cosgrove: The Disco Inferno of 1967, Studio Theatre

Stuart CosgroveWhen it comes to half-century anniversary talk in musical circles, much of this year has centred upon the release of The Beatles’ Sgt Peppers album. But for broadcaster and writer Stuart Cosgrove, 1967 was also the year that changed soul forever. He’s here to mark a tumultuous year for Detroit, the home of Motown, but also the location of serious urban rebellion and violent anti-war protests.

Date: Tuesday 15th August

Time: 8.45pm

Venue: EIBF, Studio Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

WEDNESDAY 16TH AUGUST

Angus Roxburgh: From Russia with amazing stories, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Angus Roxburgh for webThe acclaimed foreign correspondent Angus Roxburgh has seen many aspects of Moscow in both its communist and post-Soviet Union states. But one thing connects the two eras: the vast country has thrown up some crazy stories. Thankfully Roxburgh has been there to capture them, from his own expulsion for not being a good prospect as a spy to the time he was cursed by a Siberian shaman. In Moscow Calling, he tells all. Chaired by Allan Little.

Date: Wednesday 16th August

Time: 5pm

Venue: Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

THURSDAY 17TH AUGUST

Alexander McCall Smith: Private Investigations, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Alexander McCall Smith, Scottish writer at his home in Edinburgh, Scotland. 2nd April 2014 Picture by Alex Hewitt/Writer Pictures World Rights

An hour of mischief, music and laughter as the prolific Alexander McCall Smith discusses the latest happenings of all our favourite characters – Mma Ramotswe, Isabel Dalhousie, the inhabitants of Scotland Street and the delightful, intelligent and appealing characters from his standalone novels and adventures. A new volume in the hugely popular Scotland Street series, A Time of Love and Tartan, is launched this week.

Date: Thursday 17th August

Time: 6.45pm

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

FRIDAY 18TH AUGUST

Andrew Greig & Mike Heron, Studio Theatre

A-Greig-CroppedThe hugely influential Incredible String Band was born when Mike Heron was training to be an accountant. When he first heard them, Andrew Greig immediately formed a band in their image. You Know What You Could Be, a dual memoir – of a band hitting the big time and of an inspired teenage fan – should strike a chord with everyone. Chaired by Brian Taylor.

Date: Friday 18th August

Time: 7.15pm

Venue: EIBF, Studio Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Michael Pedersen & Scott Hutchinson: Oyster, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre

Oyster_PressShot_May-19,-2017_KatGollock_LOWRES-1The spoken word scene in Scotland remains a vibrant one, and Michael Pedersen is one of its true stars. He’s here to launch his new book of poems, Oyster, and comes with ringing endorsements from Stephen Fry and Irvine Welsh. Pedersen is joined on stage by Oyster’s illustrator, Scott Hutchison, who is also the primary songwriter of Scottish indie band, Frightened Rabbit. Chaired by Roddy Woomble.

Date: Friday 18th August

Time: 8.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre

Tickets: £8/£6 (Concession)

 

SATURDAY 19TH AUGUST

Alexander McCall Smith: From Merchiston, with mirth, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Alexander McCall SmithBliss on Colonsay, plastic surgery in Edinburgh, strange encounters in Botswana, and pirates in the Caribbean have all contributed to Alexander McCall Smith receiving the Medal of Honour for Achievements in Literature from the Arts Club of New York – encounter them all in a tent in Edinburgh that will shake with mirth, music and the sound of his infectious laughter.

Date: Saturday 19th August

Time: 5.00pm

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

SUNDAY 20TH AUGUST

Alan McKirdy & John Peacock, Bosco Theatre

McKirdy,-Alan,-June-2013-007Alan McKirdy takes the long view in Edinburgh: Landscapes in Stone, going back 350 million years to when its future site was under a very active volcano. John Peacock, by contrast, begins The Story of Edinburgh a mere 10,000 years ago, with the arrival of the first Mesolithic explorers, ending with the battles between conservationists and planners in the present.

Date: Sunday 20th August

Time: 12.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Bosco Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Alexander McCall Smith & Alastair Moffat, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH, JAMES ROBERTSON, ALASTAIR MOFFAT & JAMES CRAWFORD: BUILDINGS THAT SHAPED SCOTLAND

ams_for-websiteHow best to tell the story of Scotland’s history? A good way would be to do what Historic Environment Scotland have done – assemble a bunch of fine authors to write about the 25 buildings that have shaped this country, starting 5,000 years ago at the Knap of Howar on Papa Westray. Join James Crawford, Alexander McCall Smith, Alistair Moffat and James Robertson for a scintillating hour. Chaired by Ruth Wishart.

Date: Sunday 20th August

Time: 6.45pm

Venue: Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

MONDAY 21ST AUGUST

Jane McKie: Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, Bosco Theatre

Jane-McKieTranslation was fundamental to Edwin Morgan’s work as a poet. Thanks to the Edwin Morgan Trust, that commitment to bringing the voices of foreign cultures into English and Scots remains possible. Here we welcome three acclaimed Portuguese poets – Andreia Faria, Ricardo Marques, Miguel Martins – who have worked closely with Edwin Morgan Prize-winning poet Jane McKie, runner-up Miriam Nash, and Whitbread Poetry Prize-shortlisted Richard Price to create new renderings of their poems for a Scottish context.

Date: Monday 21st August

Time: 4.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Bosco Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

Craig Murray & John Keay: Some talk of Alexanders, Studio Theatre

Craig-MurrayAlexander Burnes and Alexander Gardner both lived lives of improbable adventure and danger on the British Raj’s north-west frontier. In Sikunder Burnes, Craig Murray tells how Burnes was a martyr to early British bungling in Afghanistan, while John Keay makes the case for Gardner (a possible inspiration for The Man Who Would Be King) in The Tartan Turban. Ripping yarns, both. Chaired by Andrew Duff.

Date: Monday 21st August

Time: 5.30pm

Venue: EIBF, Studio Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

TUESDAY 22ND AUGUST

Jane McKie: Live Poetry Lab, The Greenhouse 1

Jane-McKieDrop in to see live writing from Jane McKie, our resident poet, or watch it unfold online as she weaves in your contributions. Her task is to create responses to people’s memories of the festivals in Edinburgh since they began 70 years ago. Contribute by writing down your memories and handing them in at this event. Or tweet them using #LivePoetryLab. Watch online: www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/livepoetrylab

Date: Tuesday 22nd August

Time: 11.00am

Venue: EIBF, The Greenhouse 1

Tickets: Free/Drop in

 

Liz Lochhead: A Poet in Full Flight, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre 22.08.17

Copyright of Alastair Cook for website‘Funny, feisty, female and full of feeling’. That was Carol Ann Duffy’s verdict on Liz Lochhead’s latest collection, Fugitive Colours. And when last year the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh ended its 50th anniversary season with her play Thon Man Molière, it was, said the Scotsman, ‘as rich, beautiful and entertaining a coda as possible’. Whether as poet or playwright, our Makar emerita is deservedly adored. Chaired by Ruth Wishart.

Date: Tuesday 22nd August

Time: 3.15pm

Venue: EIBF, Bailli Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

WEDNESDAY 23RD AUGUST

Leon Morrocco with Liz Lochhead, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Leon Morrocco is one of Scotland’s most popular painters, famous for his striking landscapes and still lifes. Filled with vibrant colour, they are inspired by his travels to Europe, South America and Australia. As a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, he tutored Liz Lochhead who, as well as writing the introduction for A Painter’s Journey, joins him on stage to discuss his work.

Date: Wednesday 23rd August

Time: 10.00am

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

THURSDAY 24TH AUGUST

Ron Butlin & Jim Hutcheson: Tricky Trolls, Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab

Ron Butlin & Jim Hutcheson TrollsAward-winning author Ron Butlin and illustrator James Hutcheson return with their new book Day of the Trolls! In their latest troll-related tale, the naughty trolls are causing havoc at the supermarket. Get wild in the aisles with lots of laughs, rollicking rhymes from Ron and live drawing from James.

This event is suitable for ages 4-7.

Date: Thursday 24th August

Time: 10.00am

Venue: EIBF, Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab

Tickets: Adult/Child – £5.00

 

FRIDAY 25TH AUGUST

Mark Muller Stuart & Richard English: Does Terrorism Work? Garden Theatre

Mark Muller StuartIn his latest work, leading academic expert Richard English puts forward the often under-scrutinised question Does Terrorism Work? He argues that we must acknowledge that sometimes it does. Today, he’s joined by international mediator and human rights lawyer Mark Muller Stuart whose experiences of post-intervention Libya add to a fascinating discussion. Chaired by Christina Lamb.

Date: Friday 25th August

Time: 2.15pm

Venue: EIBF, Garden Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

SATURDAY 26TH AUGUST

Mary Contini: Remembering the Past, Studio Theatre

Mary Contini (Outside)Mary Contini picks up the thread of her family story from 1934 in Naples to the establishment of Edinburgh’s acclaimed Valvona & Crolla. With her inimitable style Mary reveals the dramatic and life-affirming story of her father-in-law, Carlo Contini, and shares stories of mouth-watering recipes and hilarious laughter, painting a vivid picture of life in wartime Italy and Scotland and the decades immediately after. Chaired by Alistair Moffat.

Date: Saturday 26th August

Time: 7.15pm

Venue: EIBF, Studio Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

MONDAY 28TH AUGUST

Anne Cholawo & Nell Stevens: Island Misadventures, Garden Theatre

Nell Stevens’s Bleaker House is her account of searching out, and sadly finding, writerly solitude in the Falklands – a disastrous experience. Proving that getting away from it all can sometimes work, the former London 80s ‘career girl’ Anne Cholawo, with Island on the Edge, tells the story of her extraordinary transition from a hectic urban lifestyle to rural isolation on the isle of Soay, off Skye. Chaired by Susan Mansfield.

Date: Monday 28th August

Time: 4.00pm

Venue: EIBF, Garden Theatre

Tickets: £12/£10 (Concession)

 

There’s sure to be something for everyone at this year’s festival! To view the full schedule click here

 

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