Wee announcement — I’m on board to programme the Granite Noir book festival, taking place in Aberdeen in February 2017. Early days, yet, while we make plans and extend invitations, but here’s a brief description of what we have in mind:
Granite Noir — 24-26 February 2017
GRANITE NOIR will explore the enduring appeal of stories that plunge us into the heart of darkness — where morality is ambiguous, motives complicated, and even heroes harbour devastating secrets.
We’ll train our magnifying glass on location, delving into the ‘Northern Phenomenon’, in order to pay homage to the prodigious wealth of talent at home and abroad. We’ll ask how writers are shaped by the opposing forces of penetrating darkness and white nights, by extremes of weather and the sea’s relentless rhythms. Is there a Northern temperament? Might geography be literary destiny?
We’ll also be looking into what it is that makes Noir so compelling. The chance to play criminal without paying the consequences? The fun of puzzle solving, like the brightest PI, cop — or little old lady from St Mary Mead? Is it the reliable pleasure of surrendering to a good story, well told, with a beginning, middle, and end?
Inspiration also comes from the Silver City’s fascinating history, with events drawing on the city’s rich archives, including exhibits featuring treasures from police archives, and a chance to help “solve” an historic crime.
Our diverse, weekend-long celebration of Noir will feature bestselling authors and those just starting out. Our programme — designed for readers and writers alike — will range from workshops and panels, to exhibitions, film screenings, social events, staged readings, author conversations, even a geocaching walking tour offering an imaginative perspective for the intrepid foot traveller. It will be participative, international, and appeal across the generations.
Granite Noir partners are Aberdeen Performing Arts, The Anatomy Rooms, The Belmont Filmhouse, and Aberdeen City Council’s Library and Archive services.