Category Archives: Edinburgh Book Festival

Child leaders

A friend recently sent me the link to a Guardian article published in 2014 under the title: Why boarding schools produce bad leaders. I hadn’t seen the article, but I was familiar with its author. Nick Duffell was a contemporary … Continue reading

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Moon journeys

Fifty years ago last Saturday, in the crowded and sweltering public room of a cheap hotel, with an ancient fan creaking and whirring overhead, I watched the televised moon landing. I was in downtown Tehran. The commentary was in Farsi. … Continue reading

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Come to the edge

Eighteen months ago I chaired an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with a novelist I know well, someone whose work I admire and whom I like very much as a person. Halfway through the event, in front of … Continue reading

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Close encounters

I spent last night with a friend in Edinburgh. This morning, boarding a bus into the west end, I spotted a vacant seat next to an attractive young black woman with a cloud of hair. As I sat down I … Continue reading

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Imagine better

Last week I went to the launch of this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival programme. It was the first official book festival event I’d been to since coming off the board last October, after 14 years. I felt oddly anxious … Continue reading

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Tread softly

This story is just one of a trillion reasons why Tim Berners-Lee deserves to stand alongside William Caxton and James Watt in the history of human connectivity. A little over five years ago, on 9 March 2011, an email arrived … Continue reading

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Getting tribal

Gutted. This is not a word I often use. As a boy growing up in the country it’s what I did to rabbits and pigeons and occasionally trout. As a young bookworm it’s what I read, in morbid fascination, about … Continue reading

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