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Enjoy an evening of suspense at the AKLF with Bloody Scotland and Dame Agatha

Enjoy an evening of suspense at the AKLF with Bloody Scotland and Dame Agatha

India Blooms News Service | 15 Jan 2016, 10:09 pm
Kolkata, Jan 15 (IBNS) Director of Scotland's International Crime Writing Festival, Dom Hastings and British forensics expert Kathyrn Harkup are in the city from the UK to attend Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016 (AKLF 2016) to promote the Scottish crime writing festival and to mark 125 years of Agatha Christie.

“A special request to the Sheriff of Stirling allowed us to put up a dramatized version of a real court case in the courtroom itself,” said Dom Hastings, the festival manager of Bloody Scotland, the crime writing festival in Scotland,  to highlight how they try to engage the audience through innovative programmes. An international crime writing festival, it is held annually in Stirling, Scotland. This was in 2014.

In 2015, they had arranged for a Scotland vs England crime writers football match.

The main idea behind Bloody Scotland is to showcase Scottish and international crime writing as well as offer a platform for writers and networking opportunities.

On the global front, Hastings has already taken Scottish writing to diverse countries, from Spain to Iceland to Trinidad & Tobago.

In India (in fact Asia) for the first time, Hastings will be attending several literary festivals across the country to learn first-hand about crime writing in India and to meet authors who he can possibly invite to the Scottish festival.

Answering a query about how far modern Scottish crime writers are seeing their work in translation, he said that a few have been translated in European languages. But probably “it is the dark humour of Scottish writing” that makes it difficult to translate them into other languages, he added.  

Joining Hastings at the AKLF 2016 will be Kathryn Harkup, author of A is for Arsenic: The poisons of Agatha Christie (published by Bloomsbury).

A chemist by training, Harkup was drawn to ‘poisons’, which led her to study Agatha Christie’s use of poison as a method of murder, a central plot in many of Christie’s stories.

She spent 18 months in researching and writing the book so that Christie’s readers are able to appreciate the crime writer’s extensive chemical knowledge; Christie was working as a chemist during the two World Wars.

Soon after obtaining her PhD, Harkup found that talking about and demonstrating science appealed to her more than hours slaving over a hot fume hood.

She began holding outreach programmes at the University of Surrey, to popularise science and engineering topics that would make these subjects attractive to bored students.

“But in India, you have a very positive attitude towards science,” said Harkup. “Here parents encourage their children to study science. But not in the UK. My job is to tell everyone that science is a wonderful subject." 

AKLF 2016 will be holding the session ‘Bloody Scotland and Dame Agatha’ on Jan 15 at the Tollygunge Club in partnership with the British Council. The release of Harkup’s book A for Arsenic: The poisons of Agatha Christie will be followed by a conversation with Dom Hastings and Anuja Chauhan moderated by Sumit Ray.

Enjoy an evening of suspense at the AKLF with Bloody Scotland and Dame Agatha

India Blooms News Service
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