Just back from a busy trip to Edinburgh, at the final weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe and International Book Festival. Straight off the train on Friday, Bryan and I joined Kate Charlesworth at Word Power, a radical bookshop in Nicolson Street, for an hour or so talking about the making of Sally Heathcote, Suffragette. That evening we were all entertained by Freight Books at a launch party for IDP: 2043, a graphic novel produced in collaboration with the Festival. You can listen to two of the contributors, Denise Mina and Adam Murphy, talking about the book in a radio interview on The Culture Studio.
Saturday 12.30 was our main event about Sally. We were in discussion with Teddy Jamieson in front of a full theatre audience. As the chair finished his preliminary panel introduction, a woman in the crowd called out “Votes for Women!” Then a few moments later, another stood up brandishing an umbrella and shouted again “Votes for Women!” This was the cue for a suffragette choir to march in, singing “The March of the Women” to a drum accompaniment. They were superb. The choir is Edinburgh’s own “Loud and Proud”, of which Kate herself is a member. (The event was filmed and I hope to be able to post a link to it soon.)
Then, after an hour’s lively discussion, we removed to the bookshop for a signing that lasted around an hour and a half. I have no idea how many copies that amounts to.
Kate and I had another fixture later the same day. There were two panel discussions with contributors to IDP: 2043, both chaired by Denise Mina. We were in the second of them, along with Barroux and Irvine Welsh, followed again by a signing session (but not another singing session, more’s the pity…)
Left to right: Irvine Welsh, Barroux, Kate Charlesworth, Mary Talbot, Denise Mina
Photographs by Dianne Barry and Vintage Books.