Books

Review: Makar/Unmakar Edited by Calum Rodger Rating 65%

Review: Makar/Unmakar Edited by Calum Rodger

makar/unmakar is a new poetry anthology published by Tapsalteerie and edited by Calum Rodger. It is a collection that introduces the reader to twelve contemporary poets who although very different from each other have one thing in common: they are not afraid to push poetical boundaries. It is important to say here that this reviewer is not a poetry expert but rather a reader who wants to get our of their comfort zone so this review is just the personal ruminations of a keen, just-introduced-to-poetry reader.

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Review: Night Theater by Vikram Paralkar Rating 75%

Review: Night Theater by Vikram Paralkar

A poor surgeon flees a scandal in the city and accepts a job at a village clinic. He buys antibiotics out of pocket, squashes roaches, and chafes at the interventions of the corrupt officer who oversees his work. This new novel from Vikram Paralkar, Night Theater, delves into a spiritual depth, exploring afterlife and mortality.

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Review: Lake Effect by Tim Craven Rating 74%

Review: Lake Effect by Tim Craven

Tapsalteerie have done it again, yet another beautiful poetry pamphlet published, this time showcasing the works of Tim Craven. With a physical weighting to the poems, and many relative moments, his work is vivid and identifiable. Lake Effect is great publication, lyrical yet energetic.

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Hanif Kureishi: This was a really interesting perspective to see the world from

Hanif Kureishi is stressed. He is in the middle of promoting his new book of collected essays and fiction What Happened? and at the time of this interview, overseeing a brand new theatre adaptation of his much-loved classic My Beautiful Laundrette which includes two brand new songs by The Pet Shop Boys, written for the play. It toured the north of Britain in 2019 to great acclaim and is hopefully coming to London in the summer of 2020.

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Review: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri Rating 77%

Review: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

A thorough explanation on what it is like to be a refugee, Dina Nayeri’s memoir, reflection, investigation considers it from many angles, and offers a balanced voice. With much talk of Hotel Barba, her striving to go to the best university in the States and her clear focus, there is an inspirational aspect to this title, and Dina Nayeri still takes the time to critique herself in the way that she handles her position of being both a refugee from Iran and also having spent three decades in the U.S.

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Kirstie Blair: In this period we think of them reading Dickens but actually they were reading Tennyson and Longfellow

The Saltire Society announced the winners of the 2019 Literary Awards at a glittering ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland. Kirstie Blair received the prestigious Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award for her Working Verse in Victorian Scotland: Poetry, Press, Community (published by Oxford University Press), and in a new award for 2019 Alasdair Gray was awarded the inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Scottish literature. The Fountain caught up with Kirstie Blair to discuss the book in more depth, as well as winning the award.

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Review: The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd Rating 82%

Review: The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd

Considered by many to be the finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain, The Living Mountain is renowned as a swell piece of considered prose on the Cairngorms in Scotland. In this masterpiece of nature writing Nan Shepherd describes her journeys in a poetic and stunning style, and this edition is particularly exciting. It comes with an introduction from nature writer and Nan admirer, Robert MacFarlane, as well as Jeanette Winterson’s voice on the text.

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Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Rating 95%

Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

It is always a joy to stumble upon a gorgeous book that also takes your breath away. Publishers have really upped their game when it comes to cover designs and although we should not judge a book by its cover, it is difficult when there are so many beautiful books staring at us from the bookshelves. One such book is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett; a gem of a book that is stunning to look at and stunning to read.

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Review: Bone China by Laura Purcell Rating 87%

Review: Bone China by Laura Purcell

The queen of spooky books is back with her third novel Bone China. Laura Purcell has become a name among the fans of storytelling that makes you question what is real and what is not. Both her previous novels The Silent Companions and The Corset followed the same pattern of narration that Bone China has adopted. There is a secret, there is unease, a strangeness that borders with the supernatural letting the readers decide for themselves whether or not the explanation is rational or magical.

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Review: Neu! Reekie! After Curfew – BookLaunch/Bill Drummond/Mark Cousins Rating 95%

Review: Neu! Reekie! After Curfew – BookLaunch/Bill Drummond/Mark Cousins

This special evening to celebrate the launch of After Curfew; an anthology of new work by twelve writers who had each spent a month at Cushendall Tower in Co. Antrim was introduced by founders Michael Pederson and Kevin Williamson. The occasion was also marking the end of a year of Residency at Leith Theatre for Neu Reekie with the support of Leith Theatre Trust. Cushendall Tower is owned by the national treasure that is Bill Drummond, who is the publisher of After Curfew and the highlight of the evening was Bill’s quest as to ascertain whether Bill loves Elvis or Elvis loves Bill? Answer to be posted on a wall near you in the near future.

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Tawnya Selene Renelle: Giving permission to have those feelings as well

Some poets concoct delicate metaphors to say what they have to say – Tawnya Selene Renelle from Bellingham, Washington, is not one of those. Now based in Glasgow and working on her PhD in Creative Writing, Tawnya released her debut collection this exquisite corpse this June, which, according to British poet Louise Welsh, “evokes shades of Nan Goldin” and dissects experiences with grief, sex, family, fetish and the body with unceremonious candour. Back in Glasgow after touring her book for three weeks in the UK and at home in the US, Tawnya spoke to The Fountain about her approach to writing and creating a platform for people.

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