From today (14th) Glasgow’s Book Festival Aye Write! is the only show in town for lovers of fact, fiction, food, poetry, prose, biography, comics, and any other form of writing that takes your fancy.
While the vast majority of events are at the festival’s spiritual home of The Mitchell Library, The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall also has its fair share. But it is only right that Glasgow’s most famous library is the focus point for a book festival which is international in scope, but has its roots firmly planted in the city.
Here are SWH!’s carefully selected 10 highlights to give you something to think about, but you can peruse the full programme at your leisure here.
You can also keep up to date with events as they unfold by following @AyeWrite on Twitter or on Facebook. Tickets can be bought here and you can click the links below for further details on the individual events.
Robin Robertson – 14th Mar 2019 • 7:45PM – 8:45PM • Mitchell Theatre
Robin Robertson returns to Aye Write! with the most decorated book of his career. Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize, The Roehampton Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Long Take is one of the most remarkable – and unclassifiable – books of recent years.
The book’s protagonist Walker, a D-Day veteran, is brutalised by war, haunted by violence yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and himself. As he moves from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish.
Stuart Cosgrove & Ken McNab – 15th Mar 2019 • 7:45PM – 8:45PM • Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
A momentous year in musical history has given rise to two new books. Stuart Cosgrove completes his trilogy with Harlem 69: The Future of Soul in which a Rabelaisian cast of characters including Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone feature in a tale of crime, gangsters and a darkly vengeful drug problem.
Ken McNab’s And in the End is the story of the last acrimonious days of the Beatles played out in 1969, the year that saw the band reach new highs of musical creativity and new lows of internal strife.
Anna Groundwater – 16th Mar 2019 • 11:30AM – 12:30PM • Mitchell Library
Anna Groundwater is a cultural and social historian of early modern Scotland at the University of Edinburgh and acts as a consultant for historical television and radio programmes, appearing on Scotland’s Clans and In Our Time.
Her book Scotland Connected is a user-friendly and thought-provoking guide to the key events in Scottish, British and World history, readily demonstrating the connections between the three.
SWH!’s Ali Braidwood will be in conversation with Anna Groundwater for this event which is must for anyone with an interest in Scotland’s history and heritage…
Stephen Millar & Alan McCredie – 17th Mar 2019 • 4:45PM – 5:45PM • Mitchell Library
Finding himself faced with a feeling of disconnection from his city of birth, Stephen Millar set out on a mission to capture the heart and essence of Glasgow, meeting with members of a remarkable variety of clubs and sub-cultures from pagans, to cosplayers and traditional musicians who make up the fabric of the city.
His book Tribes of Glasgow moves beyond stereotypes and delves deeper into the origins of these tribes. Scottish photographer Alan McCredie brings these stories to life through a blend of portraits and candid snaps.
This event is chaired by Ali Braidwood from SWH! so please join all three for what will be a fascinating insight into Aye Write!’s, and SWH!’s, home turf…
David Keenan & Michael Hughes – 17th Mar 2019 • 6:30PM – 7:30PM • Mitchell Library
David Keenan’s For the Good Times follows Sammy and his three friends in the Ardoyne, an impoverished, predominantly Catholic area of North Belfast. It is a book about the devastation that commitment to ‘the cause’ can engender.
Country by Michael Hughes is set in 1996 when, after 25 years of conflict, the IRA and the British have agreed an uneasy ceasefire, as a first step towards lasting peace. But if decades of savage violence are leading only to smiles and handshakes, those on the ground in the border country will start to question what exactlythey have been fighting for.
Murray Pittock – 23rd Mar 2019 • 4:45PM – 5:45PM • Mitchell Library
Murray Pittock is Bradley Professor at the University of Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Royal Historical Society. His latest book is a study of enlightenment in Edinburgh like no other.
In a journey packed with evidence and incident, he explores various civic networks – such as the newspaper and printing businesses, the political power of the gentry and patronage networks, as well as the pub and coffeehouse life – as drivers of cultural change. His analysis reveals that the attributes of civic development, which lead to innovation and dynamism, were at the heart of what made Edinburgh a smart city of 1700.
SWH!’s Ali Braidwood will be in conversation with Murray Pittock for this event, and it would be great if you could join them, and join in…
Donald S Murray – 24th Mar 2019 • 4:45PM – 5:45PM • Mitchell Library
In the small hours on 1st of January 1919, at the entrance to Stornoway harbour, the cruelest twist of fate changed at a stroke the lives of an entire community. On that terrible night the HMY Iolaire smashed into rocks and sank, killing some 200 servicemen on the very last leg of their long journey home from war.
As the Women Lay Dreaming is a deeply moving novel about passion constrained, coping with loss and a changing world, it explores how a single event can so dramatically impact communities, individuals and, indeed, our very souls.
Shaun Bythell Introduces… Daisy Johnson and Alan Trotter – 24th Mar 2019 • 6:30PM – 7:30PM • Mitchell Library
Shaun Bythell, owner of the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland and author of Diary of a Bookseller introduces these two extraordinary debuts.
Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, the novel is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that saw Daisy shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize in 2018.
Drunk on cinematic and literary influence, Alan Trotter’s Muscle is a slice of noir fiction in collapse, a ceaselessly imaginative story of violence, boredom and madness
Beerjacket – 29th Mar 2019 • 7:45PM – 8:45PM • Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Nearly five years since the release of his last album, Darling Darkness, Beerjacket returns with his most ambitious project and album to date, Silver Cords.
Accompanying the 12 songs are a collection of 12 short stories; intertwined with the music The combination of sound and print creates an ethereal tone which binds the stories with a dreamlike, magic realism quality, and certain recurring themes of isolation, now-ness, interconnectedness, loss, and fear.
Ali Braidwood is delighted to be chairing this event so why don’t you join Beerjacket & he for what promises to be a musical and literary treat.
Charly Cox and Nadine Aisha Jassat – 30th Mar 2019 • 4:45PM – 5:45PM • Mitchell Library
In She Must be Mad, Charly Cox captures the formative experiences of today’s young women from the poignant to the prosaic in writing that is at once witty, wry and heartfelt. Written for every woman surviving and thriving in today’s world, for every girl who feels too much, her poems say ‘you are not alone’.
Nadine Aisha Jassat was recently named as one of 30 inspiring young women under 30 in Scotland. Her spoken-word piece Hopscotch was made into a film in 2017, and Let Me Tell You This is her debut poetry collection.
That’s all folks – and if you do make it to one of the events Scots Whay Hae! is involved with please come and say hello.