Category Archives: Edinburgh Book Festival

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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The stories we tell

Here is a story. Fifteen years ago, Catherine Lockerbie, then the literary editor of The Scotsman, was appointed director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. For several years I had regularly written book reviews for her. We had also sat … Continue reading

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Mexican mercy

Two days ago I sat in a tent in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square with 100 other people, listening to a conversation between three Mexicans. One, the moderator, was an artist, Gabriel Orozco, who is Mexico’s leading cultural figure and has helped … Continue reading

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