The International Writers' Conference Revisited: Edinburgh, 1962

Angela Bartie (Editor), Eleanor Bell (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

Edinburgh, August 1962. An international array of writers descends on Scotland’s capital city for five days of groundbreaking literary debate. Arriving from all corners of the globe, delegates include Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, Hugh MacDiarmid, Muriel Spark, Alexander Trocchi, Lawrence Durrell, Stephen Spender, Erich Fried, and Khushwant Singh. Heady and confrontational, the “Roman amphitheatre” environment of the city’s McEwan Hall sees fierce discussion of censorship, the future of the novel, Scottish writing, and more. Enthralling the 2000-strong daily audience, and filling the front pages of Britain’s national newspapers, the Conference ignites the creative imagination of Scotland and beyond, making literary history.

Fifty years later, The International Writers’ Conference Revisited: Edinburgh, 1962 presents a unique fusion of literary and historical materials to commemorate the cultural legacy of the Conference and all its controversy. Experts Dr Angela Bartie and Dr Eleanor Bell introduce and explore the Conference through a selection of fascinating sources. Featuring never-before-published original transcripts, highlights from the 1962 Conference programme, scrapbook-style press cuttings, and writing from attendees William Burroughs and Edwin Morgan, the book also brings us into the present. Comprising new interviews with Conference organisers John Calder and Jim Haynes, and artist Sandy Moffat, reflections from figures including Jenni Calder and Joan Lingard also enable 1962 to be vividly experienced like never before.

This landmark book also showcases never-before-seen photographs, giving an exclusive visual glimpse into the action, both on and off stage, of the definitive literary event of the twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCargo Publishing
ISBN (Print)9781908885159
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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