Sally Magnusson at Edinburgh Book Festival, Anne Pia celebrates Baudelaire and other Scottish book news

The winner of the James Tait Black Prize will be announced live at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Wednesday (August 25). Author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson will host a special, pre-recorded event, in which the eight shortlisted authors discuss their books. The live announcement will then follow.

The shortlisted authors are:

FICTION: Dima Alzayat with Alligator & Other Stories, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi with The First Woman, Lydia Millet with A Children’s Bible, and Shola von Reinhold with Lote.

BIOGRAPHY: Kate Fullagar with The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire, Doireann Ní Ghríofa with A Ghost in the Throat, Sudhir Hazareesingh with Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture, and Rebecca Solnit with Recollections of My Non-Existence.



Several Booker longlisted authors are appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival over the next 10 days – including Nobel Prize-winner, Kazuo Ishiguro. He’ll be talking about his latest novel, Klara and the Sun, which prompted Herald reviewer, Rosemary Goring, to wonder if artificial intelligence might one day “offer a better, kinder version of ourselves”. She also reviewed another longlisted book, Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual, which she described as “by turns droll, sorrowful, heart-breaking and filled with love and hope”.

Rachel Cusk’s Second Place “does for the women of today’s bohemian bourgeoisie what Gustave Flaubert did to the women of the 19th century”, according to our reviewer Neil Mackay. Meanwhile, Nick Major wrote that South African author Damon Galgut’s novel, The Promise, “confronts the darkness at the heart of humanity”. The Booker shortlist will be announced on September 14.

Other Herald-reviewed writers appearing at the festival this week are Courttia Newland (author of A River Called Time), Jon McGregor (Lean Fall Stand), Deborah Levy (Real Estate), Jacqueline Rose (On Violence and On Violence Against Women), Elizabeth Knox (The Absolute Book) and David Keenan (Monument Maker).

Full event details at



An event marking 200 years since the birth of Charles Baudelaire will be presented in Edinburgh by the Institut Francais d’Ecosse on Tuesday (August 21). Edinburgh-based author Anne Pia, who has translated some of Baudelaire’s best-known poems in her book The Sweetness of Demons, will read from the work and offer poetic responses to Baudelaire’s poetry.

The event is free but bookable at



Two Scottish politicians who’ve published thought-provoking new books are among the authors appearing at the Beyond Borders Festival in Innerleithen next weekend. Alasdair Allan MSP will discuss his book Tweed Rinds Tae the Ocean – which explores the history, language and literature of the Scottish Borders – on a literary walk with Catherine Maxwell Stuart.

Former MP Stephen Gethins, author of Nation to Nation: Scotland’s Place in the World, will debate Scotland’s foreign policy footprint at an event chaired by Alan Little.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992