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Book Week Scotland at the SWC

The SWC is absolutely delighted to be taking part in Book Week Scotland. As well as a Scots-English Writing Group on Monday 26th November (submissions are welcome, and can be directed to and a Writer’s Hub on Monday and Thursday afternoons, the SWC is also holding a very special event in honour of new Scottish writing.


Thursday 29th November 2012; 7pm,
CCA, Glasgow

Book Week Scotland at the Scottish Writers’ Centre

An extraordinary evening of special book launches, with Mary Smith, Sarah Irving, Mary McCabe, Tessa Ransford, Iyad Hayatleh, and Laurence Northcote. Everyone is welcome, members and non-members alike; we’ll have copies of all books available for purchase and signing. With six writers for the price of none, it promises to be quite the party!

Mary Smith is launching her novel, Thousands Pass Here Every Day (Indigo Dreams). The poems in this collection explore wide-ranging themes of homeland, identity, and family. A strong sense of place is evoked, whether that place is Afghanistan – where people live with war as a constant backdrop to their lives – or Scotland. Characters such as a forestry worker in Galloway, boys with their flocks of sheep on Afghanistan’s high pastures, freedom fighters, mothers and sons, all demonstrate common concerns which connect each of us. There is, too, a sense of how landscape shapes identities and creates connections.

Sarah Irving is launching her title, Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation (Pluto Books). Dubbed “the poster girl of Palestinian militancy,” Leila Khaled’s image flashed across the world after she hijacked a passenger jet in 1969. The picture of a young, determined looking woman with a checkered scarf, clutching an AK-47, was as era-defining as that of Che Guevara. In this intimate profile, based on interviews with Khaled and those who know her, Sarah gives us the life-story behind the image. Key moments of Khaled’s turbulent life are explored, including the dramatic events of the hijackings, her involvement in the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, her opposition to the Olso peace process, and her activism today.

Mary McCabe is launching her book, Stirring the Dust (Argyll Publishing). Extraordinary happenings unfold in Stirring the Dust. A corpse left unburied for fear of infection; a paranormal great-great aunt; bigamous and incestuous marriages; a runaway wife and her gypsy rover. Dramatic episodes in the past are linked with the present. A sense of something missing in events now, has its echo in the rich cast of characters down the generations. Mary should know the cast in this drama – they are the author’s own family.

Tessa Ransford is launching her novel, Don’t Mention This to Anyone (Luath Press). Inspired by the rediscovery of an Urdu phrasebook, Tessa takes the reader on a journey to explore the differences between ‘then’ and ‘now’ (linking the reader to a world now lost). These poems question what it is to be both British and Indian, drawing on the author’s memories and experiences to uncover an ‘Indian’ self. This collection of poems reveals the influences which have been formative over four decades of Tessa’s writings.

Iyad Hayatleh is launching his book, A Rug of a Thousand Colours (Luath Press). This title is an exploratory project between a Palestinian poet who is now a resident in Scotland, and an established Scottish poet (Tessa Ransford). The poems explore Tessa and Iyad’s personal responses to the Five Pillars of Islam. Although hailing from different backgrounds, the two poets form a dialogue which is interwoven throughout the poems and creates a vivid tapestry of ideas surrounding the Five Pillars of Islam. Each poet translates the other’s work, so that each poem is presented in English and in Arabic.

Finally, Laurence Northcote is launching her memoir, An Extraordinary Life (Xlibris). “Why this book?” – because she wants her family to remember part of their story. She wants the next generation to be more understanding towards the religions, the customs, and the mentalities, which are manifold in this world. She wants them to be “free thinkers”, whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or Buddhist. Because she wants people to live in harmony.

Book Week Scotland is a Scottish Book Trust initiative. Scottish Book Trust has worked with partners all over the country to create a programme of over 350 events (featuring well loved authors, poets and storytellers throughout Scotland) from 26th November – 2nd December 2012.

Tickets: £6 (£3 for members and concessions).

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