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  • Alistair Braidwood

Fully Booked: A Preview Of Aye Write! 2020…

Updated: May 7, 2021

*This year’s Aye Write! has been postponed. For full details go to*

From today (12th – 29th) Glasgow’s Book Festival Aye Write! is the only show in town for lovers of fact, fiction, poetry, prose – autobiography, biography, comics, and any other form of writing that takes your fancy.

The vast majority of events are at the festival’s spiritual home of The Mitchell, and it is only right that Glasgow’s most famous library is the focal point for a book festival which is international in scope, but has its roots firmly planted in the city.

Below are SWH!’s carefully selected Top 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 orange links below for further details on the individual events.

In 2016 Iain Maloney and his Japanease wife Minori moved to a village in rural Japan. This is the story of his attempt to fit in, be accepted and fulfil his duties as a member of the community, despite being the only foreigner in the village. Told with self deprecating humour, this memoir gives a fascinating insight into a side of Japan rarely seen and affirms the positive benefits of immigration for the individual and the community. It’s not always easy being the only gaijin in the village.

Click here to hear Iain Maloney talking about The Only Gaijin in the Village on the Scots Whay Hae! podcast.

In Andrew Meehan’s The Mystery of Love, Constance Wilde’s marriage has ended. Oscar is in prison and she has fled to Italy with their children to escape London gossip and public disapproval. Here she reflects on her marriage to Oscar, and whether she always knew that their marriage was founded on a different kind of love.

Ajay Close’s What We Did in the Dark is a fictionalised account of Catherine Carswell’s whirlwind romance with soldier and artist Herbert Jackson leading to her first marriage. It is a compelling portrait of a trail-blazing writer.

Click here to read the SWH! review of Ajay Close’s What We Did in the Dark.

Join these two best-selling Young Adult writers for a fascinating discussion about their novels set against a backdrop of Scottish hearts. Caroline Logan‘s debut novel The Stone of Destiny is an epic fantasy set against a magical backdrop of Scottish myths and folklore.

Ross Sayers‘ second novel Sonny and Me is a clever, funny and heart-warming mystery adventure.

This event is free but ticketed, email with the subject line‘Epic Journeys’ to reserve a place.

Click here to read the SWH! review of Ross Sayer’s Sonny and Me.

Both of these crime writer were long listed for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. In A Breath on Dying Embers, the arrival of a luxury liner and a face from the past, sends DCI Jim Daley’s world into a tailspin as well as placing the country’s economic future in jeopardy.

In The Blood is Still, two bodies are discovered in eighteenth-century Highland dress on the site of the Battle of Culloden and local journalist Rebecca Connolly finds herself drawn into the mystery.

Alongside beloved figures like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, Dave Brubeck’s music has achieved name recognition beyond jazz. In Dave Brubeck: A Life in Time, music journalist Philip Clark provides us with a long-overdue biography of an extraordinary man whose influence continues to inform and inspire musicians today.

Clark was given unparalleled access to interview Brubeck and combined with intensive new research, this book tells one of the last untold stories of jazz. It unearths the secret history of ‘Take Five’ and many hitherto unknown aspects of Brubeck’s early career and illuminates the core of his artistry and genius.

This event is chaired by SWH!’s Ali Braidwood and it would be great to see you there to learn more about this legend of jazz and to have Philip answer your burning questions.

Karen Campbell – The Sound of the Hours – In the town of Barga in 1943, everything Vittoria Guidi knows and loves is at risk as German troops occupy the mountains around her home. She meets Frank Chapel, a young, black American soldier but can their growing love overcome prejudice and war?

Catherine Hokin – The Fortunate Ones – Berlin, 1941. Felix Thalberg has the weight of the world on his shoulders. His beloved city is changing under Nazi rule then one night, Felix meets a mysterious young woman in a crowded dance hall, and his life is changed forever.

Click here to read SWH!’s review of Karen Campbell’s The Sound of the Hours.

Set across two continents, Polly Clark’s Tiger is a sweeping story of survival and redeeming love that plunges the reader into one of the world’s last wildernesses with blistering authenticity. Frieda is a primatologist, who, following a violent attack takes on a new role as a zookeeper, where she confronts a very different ward: an injured wild tiger.

In Bird Summons by Leila Aboulela, Salma and Moni are on a road trip in the Scottish Highlands when they are visited by the Hoopoe, a sacred bird whose fables from Muslim and Celtic literature compel them to question the balance between faith and femininity, love, loyalty and sacrifice.

Nicola White grew up in Ireland and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. She lived in London and Belfast before moving to Glasgow to work as a contemporary art curator. A Famished Heart is the first in a powerful new crime trilogy set in 1980s Dublin, exploring the power of the Catholic Church and the powerlessness of unmarried women.

Ian Macpherson’s Sloot is a post-postmodern crime novel set on the clean streets of Dublin’s leafiest suburb. It includes proof that psychoanalysis is the oldest profession, and a brief aside on the possibility of an Irishman having multiple birth mothers.

When Adam Kussgarten’s twin brother, Brandon, is found gunned down just yards from his flat, Adam is drawn out of his solitary, dream-like life into a neon-lit world of forgery, deceit and violence. The Ruins is the debut novel from Mat Osman, the bass player in Suede, one of the most successful British bands of the last thirty years.

Clio Campbell – one-hit-wonder and political activist, – kills herself days before her fifty-first birthday. Stretching over five decades, Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes is a portrait of a woman told by her friends, lovers, enemies and fans.

From the award-winning author of Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret comes a fascinating, hilarious, kaleidoscopic biography of the Fab Four. Craig Brown’s One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time is a unique, kaleidoscopic examination of The Beatles phenomenon – part biography, part anthropology, part memoir, by turns humorous and serious, elegiac and speculative.

SWH!’s Ali Braidwood will be in conversation with Craig Brown for this event, and it would be great if you could join them for a truly special evening celebrating The Beatles phenomenon.

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.


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