Between the Covers 18/08/2013
Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books
Sunday 18 August 2013
Graphic novels have finally achieved the recognition they deserve. At least, they have at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where two of the world's greatest graphic novelists were united for the first time on stage. Chris Ware and Joe Sacco appeared in a joint event on Wednesday night, where they discussed the joys of uniting words with images. "It was a big coup for us," enthuses a festival spokesman. "This is the first year graphic novels have had such a big billing. We have 40 events dedicated to them."
Patrick Hennessey, the former soldier and author, topped a list of the 21 hottest male barristers last month, being dubbed "Prince Harry but with brains". Now, Natalia Naish and Sonia van Gilder Cooke have compiled a list of the top 21 women barristers, which includes Justine Thornton, wife of the Labour leader Ed Miliband. This has attracted even more controversy because some women barristers feel they have been judged quite enough by their looks rather than their brains in the past. Still, the organisers of the Edinburgh Book Festival are clearly in tacit agreement with the verdict on Hennessey: a big picture of him is prominently displayed in the programme. This honour is not accorded to bigger literary names such as Alexander McCall Smith or Ian Rankin. Can't think why.
Jonathan Coe describes his latest novel, Expo 58, as a "John Le Carré meets Evelyn Waugh" comic novel, which is set at the Brussels World Fair of 1958. Though it isn't due to be published until next month, Coe managed to smuggle 100 advance copies to flog at his talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Thursday. Not surprisingly, they went like Scotch pancakes. But what will Viking have to say if the plot gets leaked?
Fence Records, the Fife-based label that launched the career of K T Tunstall, was rumoured to have closed down on Wednesday, after one of the partners, Johnny Lynch, issued a statement saying he was closing it down to start a new venture. This is one chapter of Fence's 20-year history that won't have made it into Songs In The Key of Fife, a book about the Fife music scene by Vic Galloway of Radio Scotland. Happily, it seems the label may live to see another day because one of the other members insists he will keep it going. Kenny Anderson, who performs as King Creosote, insists: "Fence is alive and well", and will be relaunched in January. Lynch, meanwhile, has gone to live in a caravan on the Isle of Eigg. Galloway will be talking about Fence at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Tuesday, so no doubt he can tell us what's really going on.
Jenny Eclair wasn't going to be bossed about by photographers at the Edinburgh Book Festival. "You can only picture this side, my good side," she bellowed. "The bad side is atrocious." Could she point, they asked? "No, I don't do pointing. Pointing is rude." But possibly not quite as rude as saying "It's like having anal sex on a first date", as the whole festival could hear her yell.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'