Author to deliver talk at Kirrie Library as part of Book Week programme

Author James Robertson, who will give a talk at Kirrimuir Library.

Author James Robertson, who will give a talk at Kirrimuir Library.

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Scottish novelist James Robertson will discuss his work at Kirriemuir Library on November 28 as part of a programme of events for Book Week Scotland.

A poet, editor and publisher, Mr Robertson is an active and prolific writer and was the first Writer-Residence at the Scottish Parliament.

He also established Kettillonia, a small pamphlet press in 1999 and is the general editor of Itchy Coo, which produces books in the Scots language for children and young people.

Two of his works have won the Saltire Book of the Year, ‘The Land Lay Still’ in 2010 and ‘Joseph Knight’ in 2003. The latter tells the story of a man born in Africa and sold as a slave in Jamaica to a Scottish landowner, John Wedderburn of Ballandean, against whom he brought a court case to try to win his freedom.

Knight won his claim, thus establishing the principle that Scots law would not uphold the institution of slavery.

The novel has been shortlisted by the Scottish Book Trust in its project to find the top 10 Scottish books in the last 50 years. Literary critic Stuart Kelly and the staff from the trust have compiled the list of books which have all either been written in Scotland or by authors who have been born in or currently live in Scotland.

The final list will be compiled after a public vote, which ends next Friday, November 22. Votes can be cast online at www.bookweekscotland.com

Marc Lambert, Scottish Book Trust chief executive, said: “What we are keen to find out, from the public discussion and voting this list stimulates, is whether the authors who are old favourites – Alasdair Gray, Muriel Spark – will stay the course, or whether other more recent writers have come to resonate more strongly with Scottish readers.”

Mr Robertson, who lives in Angus, has sparked some debate in the media with his latest novel, ‘The Professor of Truth’, about which he will speak during his talk, starting at 2 p.m.