Celebrating Nordic-Scottish Literary Links
Inspired by Jolabokaflod, the Icelandic tradition of thoughtful book gifting at Christmas, we’re celebrating Nordic-Scottish literary links for Book Week Scotland 2017.
ScotBookFlood echoes the recent Arctic Circle Forum in Edinburgh, at which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the importance of continuing to forge strong relationships between Scotland and its northern neighbours.
In this special Issue we explore the origins of Jolabokaflod, Edinburgh and Reykjavik as UNESCO literary cities, Scandinavian folklore, post-Brexit politics, and more. We also feature Nordic festive cocktail recipes to be enjoyed while a reading good book, and we're launching two fantastic giveaways.
Join in and tell us what Scottish books you're gifting to family and friends this Christmas with the hashtags #ScotBookFlood, #BookWeekScotland and @scottishbooks.
Father Christmas and Me is your third book in your festive series published by Canongate Books. What initially inspired you to write a children’s book about Christmas?
I had just written Reasons to Stay Alive and wanted to write about the opposite of depression. So when my son Lucas asked me what Father Christmas was like as a child, I thought a Santa origin story would be just that.
The books in the series all feature compelling young characters who are simultaneously very ordinary – Nikolas lives in poverty in rural Finland while Amelia is a chimney sweep in London – and extraordinary. How did these characters come to you?
I thought it would be a good idea to give Father Christmas – Nikolas – a tragic childhood, to give him a reason WHY he wants to do what he later does. And Amelia also. I wanted to make the happiness that comes to them later to feel earned, for them to have found the light in the darkness.
In Father Christmas and Me we meet Amelia, the heroine from the second book The Girl Who Saved Christmas, again. Can you tell us a little about her new adventures?
Most of this book is set in Elfhelm, not Victorian London. So it is about her being a fish-out-of water among the elves, about how hard it is to fit in at her new school, and what series of events occurs after she crashes a sleigh....
Solitude, Swimming and Sheep: Ten Easy Steps For a Month-Long Writing Residency in Iceland By Kirsty Logan
Step 1. Arrive at Keflavík airport late at night. Be driven an hour through the darkness to a small town called Laugarvatn by a Russian man taxi driver who used to be a competitive handball player, and is horrified that you’ve never heard of handball, and so tries to show you YouTube videos of him playing handball on a laptop propped on the dashboard (all while driving). Miraculously don’t die.
‘Wouldn’t it be great to bind the connections between Scotland and Iceland further by spreading the good news of Jolabokaflod this Christmas?’
David MacPhail’s ScotBookFlood recommendations and a gruesome Viking giveaway!
‘Anne introduced me to many fantastic Scandinavian treats. Her Glogi (Finnish mulled wine) was the best.’
‘One of the most striking similarities between Edinburgh and Reykjavik is the collective spirit of the country’s passion for literature.’
For ScotBookFlood Publishing Scotland’s members reveal what books they’ll be gifting this Christmas.
A visual snapshot of some of our favourite Scottish-Nordic books for Book Week Scotland 2017.
‘Reviewing this smörgåsbord of European relationships, where does a post-Brexit Scotland fit in?’
‘I really wanted to encapsulate Iceland’s volcanic outdoor pools in this fun cocktail’.
‘Where else can you find someone writing about a drag queens’ ball, the last night of Ramadan, or a man who tries to prevent people drowning in the Clyde?’