February 2024
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Scotiana’s Top Choices in 2009 Wigtown Book Festival

2009 Wigtown Book Festival - Tree Logo

2009 Wigtown Book Festival Programme

A good festival should be an encounter: with ideas, people, cultures and the landscape.
It should look outwards but rejoice at the best of what’s local.

Adrian Turpin . Festival Director

For those who, like us, cannot attend the Wigtown Book Festival this year, we invite you to browse the program, which, in itself, delivers much information on all the different scheduled activities.

Had we been there, it would have been very difficult for us to choose what to see and hear with the only result to leave frustrated at the end of the festival for not having been able to participate to everything.

Neither easy to make a choice in the very well documented programme of the Festival, but since our main interest is literature we’ve focused on that in our selection. Mainly Scottish literature of course, but with a few incursions into the Irish field however. Don’t forget, in Wigtown, we are not far from Ireland: only 30 miles (48 km) to go to Stranraer and with the Stena Line ferry you can get there in about 90 minutes.

Hop aboard our virtual tour ?

Margaret ElphinstoneThe Gathering Night

Margaret Elphinstone

Margaret Elphinstone

Scotland has been inhabited for some 10,000 years, but our knowledge of even half that period is scant. One of Scotland’s best-loved writers digs deep to imagine the stone-age past, creating a tale of love, loss and adventure that finds powerful echoes in the present.


Quentin Jardine

Quintin Jardine


 Fatal Last Words

Quintin Jardine’s detective novels have made him a fixture at the top of Scotland’s besteller list. The former political spin doctor talks about a life in crime and the latest in his series of Bob Skinner books, Fatal Last Words. In it Skinner’s fiancée, First Minister Aileen de Marco, faces a political crisis, and our hero crosses swords with an old enemy.



Claire Kilroy

Claire Kilroy

Louise Welsh & Claire Kilroy

Two outstanding literary novelists from opposite sides of the Irish Channel. The author of The Cutting Room, Louise Welsh is also a former tutor on Glasgow University’s creative-writing programme.
Claire Kilroy’s third novel All Names Have Been Changed tells the story of a group of students on a similar course in Dublin.
Supported by Culture Ireland


Roddy Doyle – Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha(video you tube)

Dublin-born Roddy Doyle is the author of eight novels including The Commitments (filmed by Alan Parker) and the Booker Prize-winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. One of Ireland’s best known writers reads from his latest work and talks to fellow novelist Glenn Patterson.
Supported by Culture Ireland and sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University

Christopher Brookmyre - Pandaemonium - Scottish Authors - Crime FictionChristopher Brookmyre –  Pandaemonium

Christopher Brookmyre is famed for his satirical crime fiction. But his latest novel, a horror story set on a school trip, ventures into diabolically funny new territory. Always a charismatic performer, the bestselling author talks about why he has chosen to pit science against the supernaturalin Pandaemonium.


Ted Cowan

Ted Cowan

Ted Cowan  – Southwest Scots and the Northwest Passage

Three of the 19th-century’s greatest Arctic explorers came from Dumfries and Galloway: John Ross, his nephew James Clark Ross of Stranraer, and Dumfries native John Richardson.Ted Cowan, professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow,has just returned from Canada’s Northwest Passage where he has been researching a new book on the Arctic Scots. He tells the story of their epic achievements.
Sponsored by W A Barclay


The Magnusson Lecture

Five hundred years ago, Europe endured one of the most turbulent periods of its history, riven by religious conflict. In the third annual lecture ommemorating the life of the broadcaster and polymath Magnus Magnusson, the former editor of the Herald newspaper, Harry Reid, talks about how an age of martyrdom, political intrigue and intellectual daring forged the world we know today.

Sophia Kingshill  – The Lore of ScotlandThe Lore of Scotland - Sophia Kingshill - 2009 Wigtown Book Festival

Scotland’s history and landscape have inspired an extraordinary array of legends. In The Lore of Scotland, two leading folklorists, Sophia Kingshill and the late Jennnifer Westwood, have brought together the most intriguing, including the remarkable story of the mermaid of Galloway.

Iain Banks  –Transition

When terrorism and financial collapse loom, the world requires a stable guiding hand. But does it need “The Concern”, an all-powerful multinational organisation with an evil leader and tentacles everywhere? One of our finest storytellers talks about his dazzling new novel, an apocalyptic fable for the times.
Sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University


Diane Athill & Irma Kurtz – Somewhere Towards the End & About Time: Growing Old Disgracefully

After 50 years editing authors such as VS Naipaul and Jean Rhys, Diana Athill turned her hand to writing. Now in her nineties, she won the 2008 Costa Biography Award for her book, Somewhere Towards the End. The much-loved memoirist talks to Irma Kurtz, author of About Time: Growing Old Disgracefully, about entering old age in a world obsessed with youth.


 Irma Kurtz - About Time Growing Disgracefully - 2009 Wigtown Book Festival


Irma Kurtz - 2009 Wigtown Book Festival

Irma Kurtz



Wigtown Childrens Festival 2009




1 comment to Scotiana’s Top Choices in 2009 Wigtown Book Festival

  • Peter Simson

    I have been reading (with great interest)”The Fabled Coast” by Sophia Kingshill, folklorist, and I am trying to contact her to discuss one of the legends in that book, about the “Sgriob na Cailleach”, on Jura. So far, I have not found a website or email address through which I can do that. I wonder if you could help?
    Thanks, Peter

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