Ian Rankin & Denise Mina Scotland’s acclaimed writing duo read from their latest works and chat about what makes a good crime fiction. And given the number of combined books they’ve had published (7245 at the last count), they know what they’re talking about. Waterstone’s West End, Edinburgh, Thu 8 Dec.

Sarah Hall A terrific septet of stories make up the Cumbrian Booker- nominated author’s latest publication, the admittedly clunkily-titled The Beautiful Indifference. See review, page 51. Faber. Lee Evans One of several comedians with memoirs out this winter, but few will be as likeable as The Life of Lee. We’re sure he’s a lot less sweaty off-stage. Waterstone’s West End, Edinburgh, Thu 1 Dec.

Chris Brookmyre Another of our finest crime-writing scribes discusses his literary life and delivers a reading from latest work Where the Bodies are Buried. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Mon 28 Nov.

Umberto Eco He’s mused On Beauty, so it’s little wonder that the author of The Name of the Rose would one day tackle some less appealing people and images in his new art history compendium, On Ugliness. See review, page 51. MacLehose Press. Leela Soma She won awards for her first novel Twice Born, which dealt with the experiences of an immigrant in Scotland. Now Soma launches her next book, Bombay Baby, which focuses on the medical tourism industry. CCA, Glasgow, Thu 24 Nov.

Don Paterson The beloved Dundee poet, Neu! Reekie! This innovative spoken word, film and

translator and jazz muso knocks around two big (and free!) events this issue. See listings profile, page 53. The Glasgow Art Club, Thu 24 Nov; Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Fri 2 Dec. music night once again plays host to ‘the sinister and the sanguine’, with an appearance from the dead famous Richard Jobson. Scottish Book Trust, Edinburgh, Fri 25 Nov.

Penelope Lively With an engaging and light-hearted novel, How It All Began, the Booker and Carnegie Medal winner wakes both the reader and her characters up from complacent thinking. See review, page 51. Fig Tree.

Jeff Kinney The Maryland author celebrates St Andrew’s Day with the launch of Cabin Fever, number six in the unit- shifting Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, Wed 30 Nov.

50 THE LIST 17 Nov–15 Dec 2011


Our debut author Q&As continue with SELMA DABBAGH, whose first book is about a family struggling to survive in war-torn Gaza

Give us five words to describe Out of It? Girl. Gun. Boy. Sea. Fence. What was the last book you read? I have spent the last three days in the mood of Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton. A brownish, fuggy, alcoholic London novel set in 1939, it is written delicately but has a strong draw. I’m finding it difficult to shake off its interior doubt and pain.

Which book makes you cry? The pathos of the yellow crescent shapes stitched onto the uniforms of the Ibo separatist soldiers in Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The anguish and apparent futility of the yearnings for dignity, statehood and a better deal in life symbolised by these badges was what did it. Or possibly it was the realisation of the potentially crushing nature of hope that they encapsulated? Which book makes you laugh? There are lines from Evelyn Waugh (Men at Arms, Scoop) that make me giggle years later. He can be deliciously silly. For example, a group of ‘progressive writers’ trying to hose down their club during the Blitz and a man whose association with the countryside is the word ‘bang’ because he once experienced a freak farmyard explosion in the home counties. Politically, Waugh is not my cup of tea at all, but the talent he possessed to transport laughter posthumously through decades, if not centuries, is a wondrous thing indeed.

What plans do you have for book number two? I plan for it to be desperately successful. (Interview by Brian Donaldson) Out of It is published by Bloomsbury on Mon 5 Dec.