World Power Books is Scotland’s most famous radical independent bookshop, situated in the heart of Edinburgh, and host of the Edinburgh Book Fringe. The Fringe offers a free alternative to the International Book Festival taking place in Edinburgh during Augus, and aims to allow people to interact in a more intimate setting than offered elsewhere. Because all events are free, everyone has the opportunity to take part and discover the wonderful authors and activists invited to talk.
The Edinburgh Book Fringe features a different writer or activist every day, so during the course of the festival there should be something to suit everyone’s taste. On the opening night, the audience had the pleasure of welcoming Scottish writer James Robertson, whose fifth novel, The Professor of Truth, has been recently published. After a lovely musical opening by the Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth, Robertson began of a reading from his latest - a novel set in contemporary Scotland and featuring an aging professor of literature, Dr. Alan Tealing, as he tries to discover the truth of what happened to his wife and daughter, who died in a terrorist attack 21 years earlier.
Robertson is a wonderful storyteller and his calm, strong voice does his written words justice. The small and intimate space that is World Power Books is perfect for readings such as this one, in that it allows for the informal and laid-back atmosphere that so massively ameliorate most literary readings. A good amount of time was left for questions from the audience towards the end, which gives a great opportunity for people to get to grips with both the author and the work in question.
The Edinburgh Book Fringe lasts from 9th-23rd August, and the program features many exciting authors, including Tony Macaulay, Colm Herron, Pedro Lenz, David Peace, and Jean Bareham. As such, World Power Books offers us a wonderful opportunity to discover and get to know both established and new authors in an intimate setting, free of charge.