Blog Archives

Edinburgh Festivals

I’m back in Japan where thankfully August is over and the temperatures are starting to drop. The ice pillows have been put away for another year and I no longer need to shower every fifteen minutes. This trip home was

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The Long Defeat by Akiko Hashimoto and Not The Booker

My latest piece for the Japan Times is a review of Akiko Hashimoto’s brilliant sociological study of how defeat in World War 2 has manifested in contemporary Japanese society. Balanced and insightful, it goes behind the easy simplifications normally attributed

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Not The Booker

So folks, after the kicking I got in 2014, I’m now back on the Not The Booker shortlist with The Waves Burn Bright and hoping to erase the memory (at least in Google) of that ‘review’. If you enjoyed The

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A Response to The Waves Burn Bright

Taking on the task of writing about Piper Alpha was daunting, and not one I took lightly. One of my biggest fears was of offending or upsetting survivors and the families of those who died in the disaster. Before the

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Scots Whay Hae! Podcast and The Herald Review

I thought the news was over for this week but no, on Friday morning the latest episode of the brilliant Scots Whay Hae! podcast popped into my itunes featuring my podcast debut. Recorded in a pub in Glasgow, it is an

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Sunday Herald Essay, a Glowing Review and a New Poem

Well, I’m back in Japan and bed-bound with a fever, no doubt worn out by all the travelling, reading, chatting and, dare I say it, drinking over in Scotland. While I’m lying here wishing for a swift and painless death

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The Waves Burn Bright Review: The Scotsman

The first review of The Waves Burn Bright is out and I’m delighted to say it’s a good one. The Scotsman said: “The night of the disaster is sensitively and evocatively handled.” and “Digging through a hard exterior to explore the layers

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