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The 21st-Century Novel

Notes from the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference

Edited by Jonathan Bastable, Hannah McGill

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Contemporary creative writers reflect on the past, present and future of the novel

In 2012-2013, a year-long conversation between writers took place at 17 literary festivals around the world, from Jaipur to Krasnoyarsk, and from Melbourne to Berlin. Distinguished novelists such as Irvine Welsh, Ahdaf Soueif and Ali Smith shared their thoughts on various aspects of contemporary literature – the challenges it faces and the directions it is taking. This book is in part an anthology of the best of those accounts and also an overview of the lively wide-ranging global debate that the authors’ views engendered among the many writers who took part. It adds up to an arresting and thought-provoking picture of the state of world literature today.

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About the Author

Jonathan Bastable is an experienced editor, author and journalist. His Devil’s Acre: A Russian Novel came out last year. He has published many non-fiction books, mostly on historical themes. He is a travel writer and a contributing editor to Condé Nast Traveller. His journalism has been published in Wallpaper, Time Out, The Sunday Times Magazine, Architectural Digest, various editions of GQ and Vogue. He is a specialist in Russia, and was a Moscow-based correspondent for The Sunday Times and The Scotsman in the 1990s.

Hannah McGill is a freelance writer and critic, and former artistic director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.