We thought we’d introduce you to some of the debut novelists and authors that we’ve got joining us for Scot Lit Fest 2017 on top of our debut showcase. So many great books from new authors to dive into, so here’s a few for starters:
Kaite Welsh – The Wages of Sin
Sarah Gilchrist has fled from London to Edinburgh in disgrace and is determined to become a doctor, despite the misgivings of her family and society. As part of the University of Edinburgh’s first intake of female medical students, Sarah comes up against resistance from lecturers, her male contemporaries, and – perhaps worst of all – her fellow women, who will do anything to avoid being associated with a fallen woman… When one of Sarah’s patients turns up in the university dissecting room as a battered corpse, Sarah finds herself drawn into Edinburgh’s dangerous underworld of bribery, brothels and body snatchers – and a confrontation with her own past.
Event: Historic Heroines: Coding and Crime with Lucy Ribchester.
Pooja Puri – The Jungle
Mico has left his family, his home, his future. Setting out in search of a better life, he instead finds himself navigating one of the world’s most inhospitable environments the Jungle. For Mico, just one of many ‘unaccompanied children’, the Calais refugee camp has a wildness, a brutality all of its own. A melting pot of characters, cultures, and stories, the Jungle often seems like its own strange world. Alone, desperate, and running out of options, the idea of jumping onto a speeding train to the UK begins to feel worryingly appealing. But when Leila arrives at the camp one day, everything starts to change. Outspoken, gutsy, and fearless, she shows Mico that hope and friendship can grow in the most unusual places, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll show you the way out as well.
Event: Tales of Displacement: Refugee Stories with Kate Milner
John Young – Farewell Tour of A Terminal Optimist
Quick-witted, sharp-tongued Connor Lambert won’t take it any longer: the bullying, the secrets, the sympathy. He’s been dying from cancer for years, but he’s not dead yet. He’s going down fighting. Forming an unlikely friendship with fellow juvenile delinquent Skeates, the pair stage a break out and set off on a crazy tour across Scotland — dodging the police, joy riding and extreme partying — to find Connor’s dad, an inmate at Shotts prison. But Connor’s left two things behind — the medication he needs to keep him alive, and the girl who makes living bearable. A fresh and bold debut novel full of heart, guts and raw emotion. Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist is a brilliantly funny, thrilling exploration of friendship, identity and mortality populated with witty, sharply drawn characters.
Event: Podcast: Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist – a chat with John Young
Judy Murray – Knowing The Score
It was the day I put the tennis balls into the tumble dryer that I realised I thought about tennis a little bit differently. What happens when you find you have exceptional children? Do you panic? Put your head in the sand? Or risk everything and jump in head first? As mother to tennis champions Jamie and Andy Murray, Scottish National Coach, coach of the Fed Cup, and general all-round can-do woman of wonder, Judy Murray is the ultimate role model for believing in yourself and reaching out to ambition. As a parent, coach, leader, she is an inspiration who has revolutionised British tennis. From the soggy community courts of Dunblane to the white heat of Centre Court at Wimbledon, Judy Murray’s extraordinary memoir charts the challenges she has faced, from desperate finances and growing pains to entrenched sexism. We all need a story of ‘yes we can’ to make us believe great things are possible. This is that story.
Event: Knowing the Score with Judy Murray
Ever Dundas – Goblin
A novel set between the past and present with magical realist elements. Goblin is an outcast girl growing up in London during World War 2. Having been rejected by her mother, she leads a feral life with a gang of young children amidst the craters of London’s Blitz. After witnessing a shocking event she increasingly takes refuge in a self-constructed but magical imaginary world. In 2011, a chance meeting and an unwanted phone call compels an elderly Goblin to return to London amidst the riots and face the ghosts of her past. Will she discover the truth buried deep in her fractured memory or retreat to the safety of near madness? In Goblin, debut novelist Dundas has constructed an utterly beguiling historical tale with an unforgettable female protagonist at its centre.
Event: Goblins and Ghosts: Scotland’s Other Worlds with Claire McFall and Laura Lam