Sunday, October 01, 2006
Writers in Exile
Last weekend, representing Scottish PEN (www.scottishpen.org) at this year's Goteborg Book Fair on the theme of Freedom of Expression, a rudimentary knowledge of Scots came in handy as I followed signs for the 'skriva i exil' session. This event was one of the most interesting for me, focussing on the reflections of three writers from India, Iran and Zimbabwe. All three have been brought to safety in one of the growing network of 'Cities of Refuge' for persecuted writers around the world. At Scottish PEN we're supporting Edinburgh to become part of the network in 2007. See www.icorn.org
The honey-pot lure of Swedes for books is breathtaking. A huge queue coiled around the Swedish Convention Centre on the Saturday morning, leaving ranks of bicycles glinting in the sun. In the first two days over 28,000 visitors to the Fair were recorded.