Charlotte Higgins, Robert Twigger and William Letford interviews
In this edition of Book Talk host Ryan Van Winkle takes us on a literary trip around the world, stopping off in Roman Britain, on the River Nile and in the Middle East.
Charlotte Higgins is the author of Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain. Having travelled around Britain in a campervan, Charlotte talks to Ryan about how the idea of Roman Britain has resonated throughout British culture since the end of Roman rule and what it means to us now.
If you'd like to head out on your own journey of discovery, she gives some suggestions of where to find some of the best Roman remains in Scotland and where you can find out more about the Roman history in Scotland.
We then move to Eqypt to talk to Robert Twigger, author of Red Nile: The Biography of the World's Greatest River. Robert talks about the challenges of writing an autobiography of an inanimate object and, given the phenomenal history of the subject, how to decide what to focus on. Robert tells some of the stories associated with the Nile, including Caliph Al-Hakim’s unconventional approach to keeping his neighbourhood quiet and free of dogs.
Finally, we head to the Middle East to look at two new anthologies of Palestinian and Kurdish/Iraqi contemporary poetry translated into Scots and English.
Poet Liz Niven discusses A Bird is Not a Stone, featuring Scots and English translations of Palestinian poetry from some of Scotland’s most acclaimed poets and Iraqi Kurdish poet Awezan Nouri and Scottish poet William Letford discuss This Room is Waiting is an anthology of contemporary poetry from Iraq.
01:04-11:06 Charlotte Higgins interview
11:06-18:52 Robert Twigger
18:52-22:56 Liz Niven interview
22:56-29:12 Awezan Nouri and William Letford interview
Book Talk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions