To Russia with gloves – Lenzie writer spreading the word in Siberia

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AWARD-winning Lenzie author Theresa Breslin has been sent to Siberia . . . to spread the word about Scottish books.

Theresa Breslin has slipped under the Iron Curtain – braving temperatures of around -5°C – to be a keynote speaker at Krasnoyarsk Book Culture Fair on November 3.

The Lenzie-based author has donned wooly mittens to deliver the Scottish view on the question of ‘A National Literature?’ – drawing comparison and contrast with a country the size of Russsia, represented by Kirill Kobrin, along with fellow writers Melvin Burgess, Tibor Fischer, Andrey Astvatsaturov and Konstantin Milchin.

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It is part of the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference – a unique series of events bringing authors together around the world to create a historic picture of the role of literature today.

The trip means a five-hour flight to Moscow and then a further flight to reach Krasnoyarsk, which is close to the Trans-Siberian railway.

Theresa said: “I’ve been asked to make one of the keynote addresses. They’re flying me to Moscow for three days and then out to Krasnoyarsk.

“I’m quite nervous about it, but I’m delighted. It’s a big thing to be doing and a big thing for Scotland.”

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The Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference – organised by the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council – involves 15 countries across the globe.

The events are being held to mark the 50th anniversary of a famous Writers’ Conference – held in August 1962 as part of the Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama.

The original line-up included Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, Mary McCarthy, William Burroughs, Hugh MacDiarmid, Muriel Spark and Edwin Morgan.

Theresa was one of 50 writers who took part in the 2012 launch event.

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Now she is preparing to head for Russia to continue the “conversation”, where she plans to highlight issues including the controversial shake-up of library services in East Dunbartonshire. During her stint in Moscow, Theresa will be talking to young people about her classic book ‘Divided City’.

Theresa is the critically-acclaimed author of more than 30 books for children and young adults whose work has been filmed for TV, broadcast on radio and is read worldwide in many languages.

She recently launched two new books – ‘Spy for the Queen of Scots’ and ‘An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales’ – to great acclaim.

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