McDermid and Harris to headline Scotland's first religious literary festival

McDermid and Harris to headline Scotland's first religious literary festival

Scotland's first religious literary festival kicks off next month, organised by the University of Edinburgh's School of Divinity, with Val McDermid and Robert Harris among those headlining.

The Winter Tales Book Festival will form part of celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of New College, the home of the School of Divinity, and will run from 3rd December to 5th December.

There will be more than 25 events, as well as book signings, exploring everything from the hidden history of Christmas carols and explorations into belief in crime fiction and comedy. Most events are free—but tickets will be required (which can be booked online). 

McDermid will be talking about the complex relationship between religion and crime writing, while Harris will discuss portrayals of power, religion and politics in his work, including Fatherland, Enigma and the Cicero trilogy (all published by Cornerstone) and broadcaster and author Sally Magnusson will discuss her recent bestselling books, The Ninth Child, The Sealwoman’s Gift and Where Memories Go (all John Murray Press), and how they illuminate elements of family life and faith.

Miles Jupp will explore the complex and surprising relationship between religion, comedy and literature, as well as his new novel History (Headline) and poet Christine De Luca, Edinburgh’s Makar for 2014-2017, will discuss her writing along with authors Lizzie Poole and Ed Newell in an event called "The Secrets of the Sea".

Alison Jack, senior lecturer and assistant principal of New College, said: “The world of religion, belief and spirituality has not only provided authors with some of their most memorable plots but the literature also confronts some of the ethical, cultural and historical questions shaping our world. We are delighted to able to launch this festival to celebrate and explore that influence, alongside some Christmas themed events and celebrations for adults and children to enjoy.”