Category Archives: Edinburgh Book Festival

Competing realities

This time last week, all being well, we would have been preparing to receive the novelist Philip Pullman as our guest speaker for the Dark Angels masterclass at Merton College, Oxford. Sadly, all was not well. Poor Philip had been … Continue reading

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Data with soul

I’m writing this in the Scottish Storytelling Centre before I catch a train home from Edinburgh. Located partly in Edinburgh’s oldest house, on the High Street, it has a good café, a big airy storytelling space and a 99-seat theatre. … Continue reading

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Through the wall

I’m looking at a picture of the Great Wall of China. It’s on a calendar given to me by my friend and acupuncturist Wenbo Xu. There are two crane-like birds in a meadow in the foreground. Beyond them the wall … Continue reading

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Human and humane

I started this blog exactly four years ago, on 18th August 2009. I think it would have surprised me then to know that I would still be going four years later. In that first post I wrote this: ‘I want … Continue reading

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August elixir

I’m writing this at a table outside the author’s yurt in Charlotte Square Gardens. The sun is trying to break through and at the same time it’s spitting with rain. This is Edinburgh in August and the Book Festival is … Continue reading

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Good tidings

‘I guess I’m a “bad news” guy and you’re my “good news” twin…’ So said my old friend Paul Phillips recently. Paul writes a well-informed and trenchant blog on those big topical issues – Savile, Leveson, Starbucks and so on … Continue reading

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The heart of things

Last month I was lucky enough to appear at two book festivals. One of them, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is indisputably the world’s largest and this year was its best year ever, with a record 225,000 visits to Charlotte … Continue reading

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Strange fruit

Tomorrow I leave for France for 10 days. This is a holiday that feels like it’s been a long time coming. The year so far has been one of hard domestic slog, clearing out my mother’s house in Kent and … Continue reading

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Choosing your bees

We had our last Edinburgh International Book Festival board meeting of the year yesterday. It has been a fascinating year as world events swirl around us and we’ve found ourselves debating issues as diverse as whether to initiate a cultural … Continue reading

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