A literary feast of events is coming to libraries in Campbeltown, Oban and Rothesay this month with visits from three award-winning Scottish authors. Stories about travelling people, Scotch broth and bannocks, and murder and mayhem will all be featured. The events are part of the Scottish Book Trust’s ‘100 Authors for 100 Libraries’ programme for Book Week Scotland (26 Nov to 2 Dec 2012), a week-long, Scotland-wide celebration of books and reading.
Louise Glen-Lee, Argyll and Bute Council Lead Councillor for Community, Culture, Customer and Communication welcomed the events and said
‘It’s exciting to see our libraries working with Book Week Scotland to bring unique opportunities to hear and meet authors in Argyll and Bute. We hope there’s something for most people in this mix of storytelling, food writing and crime novels.’
Jess Smith is a Scottish author and storyteller from a travelling family who tries through her work to raise cultural awareness through storytelling, and has taken part in festivals in Scotland and around the world – in Keith, Kirriemuir, Aberdeen, Perthshire, Edinburgh, Shropshire, Yorkshire, Ireland and Australia.’
Speaking of her book Way of the Wanderers, Jess says
‘Travellers/Gypsies have little knowledge of their history. This is partly due to a mainly oral culture. Nothing was written down, culminating in much of the heritage and language lost to the mists of time. Gathering what scattered remains exist has been a mountainous struggle. There's a lot of eye-opening, and at times harrowing, material but I feel it’s a story long overdue and needs telling." Jess will be at Campbeltown Library on Monday 26th November at 7pm.
Catherine Brown grew up in a Glasgow tenement and was always keen to cook. She says ‘My mother encouraged me. There were grannies, too, who let me mess about in their kitchens. One lived in a cramped tenement kitchen in Glasgow’s East End, while the other lived in an East coast fishing village where fish and shellfish - fresh from the boats - arrived daily.’
Catherine’s book Scottish Regional Recipes was published in 1981 and the same year she began writing for The Herald in Glasgow, becoming their food correspondent a few years later, writing weekly columns for the next twenty years. She was restaurant critic for the Scottish Field for twelve years, and joined Grampian and STV’s Scotland’s Larder, as co-presenter with Derek Cooper, a series which celebrated Scotland’s traditional foods and artisanal products. She has received three Glenfiddich Food Writing Awards and the Guild of Food Writers’ Food Journalist of the Year award in 2001. Catherine will be appearing at Oban library at 2pm on Tuesday 27th November.
Caro Ramsay is an award-winning crime writer whose book The Blood of the Crows was Waterstone’s Book of the Month in September 2012. Caro was raised on the south side of Glasgow in Govan, and although she was more interested in science than English at school, she got some inspiration from the many fascinating facts her studies provided about poisons and blunt trauma… Having turned down places at Veterinary and Medical school, she was the youngest person ever to graduate from the British School of Osteopathy in London, but says she felt that ‘Rather than being a valued member of a Primary Care Team, my job seemed to consist of translating the Taggart episode that had been on the night before...’ While recovering from a bad back injury, she decided to put pen to paper and started writing the book which was to become Absolution, the first of her four published novels. Caro will be at Rothesay Library at 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th November.
Book Week Scotland is Scotland's first national celebration of books and reading, taking place from 26 November to 2 December 2012, with a week-long programme of events for people of all ages, interests and reading abilities. The sessions at local libraries are free, but booking is advisable, either in person at the library or by telephone, to avoid disappointment.