October sees the international publishing world gather together in one city - Frankfurt - to celebrate writing, publishing and storytelling, to make new friends and contacts, and to share in the excitement in what's happening around the world. Scotland will be well represented by its publishers, and, as ever, passing on the best of our own stories.

To celebrate Scotland's international outlook, we've gathered together fiction, non-fiction and poetry that show Scotland inspired by the rest of the world and taking us to new places - real and imagined - that leave us enriched, enlivened and entertained.

Any publication of new work by Alasdair Gray is a cultural event. And when Gray announced he was translating Dante’s epic The Divine Comedy, we’re sure BooksfromScotland were not the only ones on tenterhooks waiting for publication. The first part of the trilogy, Hell, is published this month, with Purgatory and Heaven to follow. We’re delighted to share with you the first canto.


Hell: Dante’s Divine Trilogy Part 1 Decorated and Englished in Prosaic Verse By Alasdair Gray By Dante Aligheri & Alasdair Gray Published by Canongate


1             In middle age I wholly lost my way,

finding myself within an evil wood

far from the right straight road we all should tread,


4             and what a wood! So densely tangled, dark,

jaggily thorned, so hard to press on through,

even the memory renews my dread.


7             My misery, my almost deadly fear

led on to such discovery of good,

I’ll tell you of it, if you care to hear.


10           I cannot say how I had wandered there,

when dozy, dull and desperate for sleep

my feet strayed out of the true thoroughfare,


13           till deep among the trees an upward slope

gave to my fearful soul a thrill of hope

as rising ground at last became a h...


Charco Press is a relatively new independent publisher based in Edinburgh. Started by partners Carolina Orloff and Samuel McDowell in 2017, Charco focuses on contemporary fiction from Latin America. Here Samuel tells us the story behind the rise-and-rise of this great, independent publisher.


Our goal: to bring the best new voices and works from this region to UK readers.

The idea behind the press formed during our travels through Latin America.  We realised that there was a wealth of amazing new authors in this region, and very few were available in English. Many were being translated into French, German, Italian, Chinese, and even Hebrew. Why should Anglophone readers be missing out? Carolina – originally from Argentina, a specialist in Latin American literature and a published translator – has always had a passion for the literature from this part of the world. Combined with my background in IT and business, we realised that we w...



The Janus Run: A Q & A With Douglas Skelton click

The Janus Run: A Q & A With Douglas Skelton

‘He rolled and took aim at the closest gunman. It all seemed so natural. He fired. It all seemed so easy. Aim the gun, fire the gun, take a life. That was when we knew for certain that Dagda was back. …


Cover Stories: Muriel Spark Centenary Editions click

Cover Stories: Muriel Spark Centenary Editions

‘One’s prime is elusive. You little girls, when you grow up, must be on the alert to recognise your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must then live it to the full.’


David Robinson Reviews: Love is Blind by William Boyd click

David Robinson Reviews: Love is Blind by William Boyd

‘Mysteries – music, time, movement – were reduced to complex, elaborate mechanisms. People tended to be fascinated.’


Pin-Ups: Toulouse Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity click

Pin-Ups: Toulouse Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity

‘In the end, of course, it was Lautrec who would achieve enduring fame from his posters, rather than the celebrities whose careers he promoted.’


Book of Scotlands click

Book of Scotlands

‘I am convinced that every Scot has grasped the most salient and mysterious fact of being, its glowing ruby kernel: the knowledge that life rewards those who love – but really love – to live.’


Dune Song click

Dune Song

‘I came to the Sahara to be buried.’


Gemmano click


‘Finally the bombardment ceases but they cannot see what has happened, for the cloud hanging over Gemmano shows no signs of dispersing. Toni and Papa hug and grip each other as if to convince themselv …


Nameless Country: Selected Poems of AC Jacobs click

Nameless Country: Selected Poems of AC Jacobs

‘I choose neither East nor West, For I am shaped by the North.’


‘The Story of my Heart’: A short story from Steam Punk Writers Around the World click

‘The Story of my Heart’: A short story from Steam Punk Writers Around the World

‘But Daniel didn’t feel like he belonged anywhere. He came alone, he sat alone and he stayed alone.’