Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Friday, June 30, 2006

Round up

Still, a bit discombobulated since getting back from Singapore, so thoughts on that will have to wait until next week. Until then:

Another recommendation from the 26 newsletter for June is here.

Lorelei's new book is this.

And latest Common Ground news is here; or indeed below:

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Uncommonly good news

'Common Ground - Around Britain In Thirty Writers' is the latest collaborative writing project from 26, and will be published in August. Contributors include novellists Niall Griffiths, Ali Smith and Elise Valmorbida. Here's the idea behind it...

Writers define places, places inspire writers. What would Dorset be without Thomas Hardy? Imagine the Scottish Highlands without Robert Louis Stevenson. And what was the effect of Hackney on Pinter, Kent on Dickens, or Laugharne on Dylan Thomas? Which writer captures the spirit of your area? How have the local landscape, people and stories influenced them? And what effect has this had on you?

We asked 30 of Britain's liveliest writers to consider those questions and write about the common ground they share with another writer. This book brings together their extraordinary responses, and provides a unique, informative and thoroughly entertaining tour of literary Britain.

Featuring pieces on... Paul Abbott Burnley. Rev. W Awdry Wiltshire. Julian Barnes Middlesex. Hilaire Belloc Sussex. John Burnside Fife. Mary Butts Dorset. Charles Dickens Kent. TS Eliot City of London. Jasper Fforde Swindon. Alan Garner Cheshire. Patrick Hamilton Earl’s Court. Thomas Hardy Dorset. David Lodge Birmingham. FW Lister Middlesbrough. Richard Long At large. George Mackay Brown Orkney. Hugh Miller Cromarty. John Milton Buckinghamshire. Stuart Murdoch Glasgow. Harold Pinter Hackney. Will Self M40. William Shakespeare Stratford. Giles Smith Colchester. Robert Louis Stevenson Scottish Highlands. Dylan Thomas Laugharne. Edward Thomas Cotswolds. Major H.W. 'Bill' Tilman Cornwall. Van Morrison Belfast. Keith Waterhouse Yorkshire. Virginia Woolf Sussex.

Whitbread prize-winner Ali Smith, as well as 26 stalwarts Stuart Delves, Jamie Jauncey and John Simmons will be taking the mike at the Edinburgh Book Festival, talking about their contributions and to 'Common Ground' on 20 August. If you're up that way, why not pop in to support the cause?

There’s also a special launch of the book in London on the evening of 31 August at the Globe Theatre, all members of 26 are welcome, so please make a note of the date in your diary. We’ll be sending out more details nearer the time and announcing our next book project, which has a distinctly Shakespearean flavour.

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