Edinburgh International Book Festival Comes to HMP Edinburgh

This week saw Edinburgh International Book Festival step outwith Charlotte Square as part of their ‘Booked!’ series and into HMP Edinburgh, bringing the festival to the prison with a visit from Edwyn Collins and Grace Maxwell.

Edwyn Collins Grace Maxwell

In a discussion facilitated by Edinburgh International Book Festival Director Nick Barley, Edwyn and Grace told their story of how they met and the success around Edwyn’s band Orange Juice in the 80s, his solo hit “A Girl Like You” in the 90s, his stroke 10 years ago and subsequent recovery. Grace spoke about her journey with Edwyn as his manager and wife, and her new book “Falling & Laughing – The Restoration of Edwyn Collins”.  Edwyn also brought his guitar along and performed “A Girl Like You”. The event was a great success, bringing the Book Festival to those who are unable to visit Charlotte Square, and Edwyn’s story of recovering from his stroke was particularly inspiring and thought-provoking for all those who attended.

George Webster, Acting Head of Offender Outcomes at HMP Edinburgh said “HMP Edinburgh were delighted to receive a visit from Edwyn Collins and his wife Grace Maxwell as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival Outreach project. The event was a roaring success with the audience transfixed by Edwyn’s story. It was a truly humbling experience to hear how he has battled back in his recovery from illness since 2005.  Edwyn and Grace told their story with humour and a candour which engaged the audience from start to finish. Our thanks go to Edwyn, Grace and also Nick Barley from the Edinburgh Book Festival for providing a wonderful event.”

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “Our Booked!  programme of events is really exciting and innovative. Thanks to funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we can now take our authors and artists into unusual and unconventional venues such as HMP Edinburgh. It’s about bringing stories, experiences and ideas to communities who are unable to visit the Book Festival in Charlotte Square Gardens.”