Edinburgh International Book Festival Review: Douglas Stewart | Kit De Waal | Philip Sands | Maggie O’Farrell

Douglas Stewart PIC: Martyn Pickersgill
Douglas Stewart PIC: Martyn Pickersgill

cheers that greeted Douglas StewartAnd perhaps he won the Booker Prize for his first novel, Shuggie Bain, and his second, Shuggie Bain. It’s the Scotsman Young Mungo has already garnered accolades for.

Young Mungo is a gay “first love story” set in the same sleazy streets of Glasgow’s East End a few years after Shuggie Bain. But now it’s his 1990s, and unemployment and addiction have taken hold, along with violence and homophobia. In a conversation with Val McDiarmid, Stuart acknowledged through hundreds of interviews that his claim that Shuggie Bane is entirely fictional is itself fictional. .

He said he had avoided the “second album syndrome” and wrote much of Young Mungo before the Shuggie fanfare exploded. A family and secret tale that has been told has left him half-scared to death. But he’s looking to the future, and says he’ll one day use his 20 years of experience in the New York fashion world to write The Devil Wears Real Prada.

Kit de Waal Pic: Cameron Smith/Getty Images

award-winning novelist Kit de Waal She vowed never to write a memoir about her “crazy” childhood. The extreme poverty of her Irish Catholic-turned-Jehovah’s Witness mother and West Indian bus driver father in their home. Moseley, Birmingham, and the dagger of racism were pointed at her and her four siblings.

But in writing the book, she says she found more “respect, love, and understanding” for her parents than she thought possible, amidst the darkest days of her 20s breakdown. , she added that she came to rely on their care and support.

barrister and writer Philip Sands About his involvement in the international legal battle over the Chagos Archipelago, a group of islands that were “split apart” from Mauritius when Mauritius was granted independence, he personally wrote in his new book, The Last Colony. elements are included. Hosts strategic US military bases.

In a conversation with Olivette Otele, a prominent professor of SOAS legacy and memory of slavery, he notes that the story of the Chagoth eviction by the British explores his own family’s past in war-torn Europe. It explained how it “opened the door” to doing. His friendship with Lisebi Elise, an illiterate Chagosian woman whose eloquent testimony transformed the legal battle, was the driving force behind this book.

The Chagothic struggle to return to the islands touches the most basic of rights, he said. Although the situation remains unresolved under the current government’s “tough times”, he is optimistic that Britain will eventually “do the right thing”.

At the first event on her new novel The Marriage Portrait, Maggie O’Farrell explained how she is attracted to people “on the wrong side of history.” People like Lucrezia de’ Medici, the “overlooked and underappreciated” fifth child of the Archduke and Duchess of Florence in the 1550s, married the Duke of Ferrara at age 15.

It is a “portrait-inspired poetry-inspired novel” that “pulls the curtain” of the woman who inspired Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess.” Writing during her lockdown, O’Farrell said she came to see young Lucrezia “almost like her own child” and felt responsible for writing in fiction about her real life, saying she would “correct her mistakes.” I felt her determination. And she tells her story.

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