Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One City, One Book

Last Friday saw a one-off event at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, where three of Scotland's premier contemporary writers; Alexander McCall-Smith, Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh took to the stage in front of a sell-out audience.

With their host, BBC presenter Kirsty Wark, they each made readings from stories they had contributed to a new book called One City. They took part in an audeince discussion with the purpose of launching the book, which is trying to raise awareness of social exclusion in and around the Scottish Capital through a charity of the same name.

The authors, also the charity's three patrons, have each contributed stories with a 'tiger' theme, an idea first muted by Irvine Welsh. "Tigers are something of an obsession or mine," Welsh admitted. "I was in India when the idea came to me after I met the man responsible for trying to save the Bengal breed of tigers. I thought it would be a nice challenge."

Welsh's story, Murrayfield (you're having a laugh), centres around an escaped Bengal tiger running around the back gardens of people's homes in the Murrayfield are of the city.

Smith's story, The Unfortunate Fate of Kitty da Salva, concerns a doctor from South India who comes to live in Edinburgh and has to cope first-hand with the trials of being a lonely incomer to the city.

The Great Lafayatte, a magician who died on the very same stage the author's sat this evening, and the recent Homeless World Cup staged in Edinburgh this summer, provided the inspiration for Rankin's story, Showtime.

All three authors admitted to enjoying the challenge that the theme of the book presented, and fans of each individual author are bound to be more than happy with the newly penned stories.

The One City charity is extremely lucky to have the support of these three authors as well as having JK Rowling to pen the inspirational introduction to the book; it is bound to sell out fast. As well as all the usual places to buy a copy, it will be possible to find copies lying around the streets and shops of Edinburgh as part of the drive to raise awareness.

One City went on sale in shops around Edinburgh from December 10th and is available UK-wide from January 5th. For more information on the charity, please see: www.onecitytrust.org


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