Published: 21/05/2014 17:35 - Updated: 21/05/2014 17:47

Writers and musicians get political at Waterstones in Inverness

Laura Marney.
Laura Marney.

LEADING Scottish writers and musicians will look at the facts — and fiction — of Scottish politics at Waterstones’ Inverness branch in the Eastgate Centre next week.

The Bus Party Tour stops off at the Highland Capital bookshop on Monday to ask the question: "What kind of Scotland do we want?"

The 2014 tour follows the original 1997 Bus Party Tour led by novelist William McIlvanney in the run up to the referendum on the Scottish Parliament.

Now the bus is back, riding towards the independence referendum on September 18th, touring from Wick to Wigtown.

The spring leg of the new "Listening Lugs" tour includes award-winning folk singeers Karine Polwart and Mairi Campbell, Scottish Book of the Year Award-winning novelist and poet James Robertson, journalist Neal Ascherson who specialises in Scottish and international affairs, broadcaster and Scottish language champion Billy Kay, and well known folk musicians David Francis and Hamish Moore.

The free event begins at 2pm on Monday 26th May and will include a mix of Scottish folk music, poetry and readings.

Later in the week, novelist Laura Marney turns a comic eye to politics with long-awaited sequel to her bestseller, No Wonder I Take a Drink, voted one of the Top 20 Scottish books of all time in a poll by The List magazine.

For Faughie’s Sake is a satirical and gleeful celebration of contemporary Scottish life as a Highland community has to deal with a billionaire property developer, a big Hollywood movie that has a unique take on Scottish history, and the minor matter of the independence referendum.

"I’m uncomfortable that so many people are uncomfortable discussing the referendum," Marney explained.

"Politics is boring and full of dodgy egomaniacs and I completely understand why people are reluctant to engage. Some people — in my experience, women mostly — don’t feel well enough informed, or that their opinion is valuable. Women don’t want to be considered gobby and opinionated, or to disagree with their friends or fall out with anyone, so I wanted to offer an approach that was less combative and more comedic."

Laura Marney will give a reading and answer questions at Waterstones on Thursday 29th of May at 6.30pm.

For Faughie’s Sake is published by Saraband, the current Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year.

Another Saraband author, Jim Crumley, one of the country’s most renowned nature writers, will also be in the Highlands next week talking about his new book The Eagle’s Way, which focuses on the implications of the growing population of Scottish sea eagles.

He will first be speaking at the Aigas Field Centre on Friday 30th May, and then at The Bookmark in Grantown-on-Spey on Saturday 31st May as part of the Walk on the Wild Side event, which will see seven writers inspired by nature and landscape discussing their work.

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