Page 1

Polygon New titles 2013


Address Birlinn Ltd West Newington House 10 Newington Road Edinburgh EH9 1QS Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 4371 Fax: +44 (0) 131 668 4466 Customer and Trade Orders Booksource 50 Cambuslang Road Cambuslang Investment Park Glasgow G32 8NB Tel: 0845 370 0067 Fax: 0845 370 0068 Intl: +44 (0) 141 643 3961

Managing Director Hugh Andrew

Birlinn Limited was established in 1992, by Managing Director Hugh Andrew, and comprises a number of imprints.

Publishing Director Neville Moir

Birlinn publishes Scottish interest books, from biography to history, military history, sport and Scottish Gaelic. The name comes from the old Norse word ‘birlinn’, meaning a long boat or small galley used especially in the Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland in the Middle Ages.

Publicity and Marketing Director Jan Rutherford Rights Maria White Mobile: +44 7766657558 Sales Director Laura Poynton Creative Director James Hutcheson Editorial Manager (Birlinn) Andrew Simmons Managing Editor (Polygon) Alison Rae Academic Editor ( John Donald) Mairi Sutherland Export Manager, Digital Development Manager, Sports Editor Peter Burns Mobile: +44 7967076636

Polygon publishes literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern, from Scottish writers such as Robin Jenkins, George Mackay Brown and the author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith, as well as selected music and film titles. Polygon was originally set up by students of Edinburgh University in the late 1960s. Mercat Press, founded in 1970 and acquired by Birlinn in 2007, is now an imprint publishing walking and climbing guides. Mercat is the Scots language word for ‘market’ or ‘trade’. Academic books about Scotland are published under the imprint John Donald. Arena Sport is designed for the general trade and five or six titles per year are planned. Va Va Froome: The Remarkable Rise of Chris Froome by David Sharp; Jewel in the Glen: Gleneagles, Golf and the Ryder Cup by Ed Hodge; Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions by Stephen Jones, Tom English, Nick Cain and David Barnes; and Season of Wonder: Manchester United’s Treble Season by Daniel Harris, will all be published in 2013. Arena’s first titles will be published in June although the paperback of the already very successful biography of Bradley Wiggins (Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force by John Deering) will appear under the new imprint in May. The company aims to build a distinctive brand to complement its existing list.

Production Manager Liz Short Sales and Marketing Liaison Vikki Reilly

West Carol Crawford Email: Tel: 07810 484001 East Vikki Reilly Email: Tel: 07920 018136 Argyll Hugh Andrew Email: Highlands and Islands Carole Hamilton Email: Tel: 07780 606493 England and Wales Compass DSA Swan Centre Fishers Lane Chiswick W4 1RX Tel: +44 (0) 208 996 5764 Sales Administration Maureen Carrington Email: Ireland Compass Ireland 38 Kerdiff Avenue Naas, Co Kildare, Ireland Tel: (+353) 45 880805 Fax: (+353) 45 880806 Managing Director Alasdair Verschoyle Email: OVERSEAS Scandinavia, Spain, TURKEY, Portugal, Eastern Europe Bill Bailey Publishers’ Representatives 16 Devon Square Newton Abbot Devon TQ12 2HR Tel: +44 (0) 1626 331079 Fax: +44 (0) 1626 331080 Email:

Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Benelux, Switzerland

Ted Dougherty 72 Hadley Street London NW1 8TA Tel: +44 (0) 207 4822439 Fax: +44 (0) 207 2679310 Email: Australia & New Zealand NewSouth Books c/o TL Distribution 15-23 Hailes Avenue Moorebank NSW 2170 Australia Tel: (02) 8778 9999 Fax: (02) 8778 9944 Email: Website: Canada McArthur & Company 322 King Street West Suite 402 Toronto, Ontario M5V 1J2 Tel: (416) 408 4007 Fax: (416) 408 4081 Email: Website:

Southern Africa (Polygon Only) Penguin South Africa 24 Sturdee Avenue Rosebank Johannesburg 2196 Tel: (+27) 11 327 3550 Fax: (+27) 11 327 3660/6574 Email: USA Independent Publishers Group (IPG) 814 North Franklin St Chicago, Illinois 60610 USA Tel: (312) 337 0747 Fax: (312) 337 5985 Email: Military Titles Only Casemate 2114 Darby Road Havertown, PA 19083

TRADE TERMS All orders are subject to a 35% discount, unless otherwise arranged. The standard discount will be applied to all subscriptions and cash with order. Single copy orders are subject to a 20% discount. Orders with a net invoice value under £30 may be subject to a reduced discount of 25%. Returns Policy All books must be in mint condition and suitable for resale. All returns requests must be authorised in advance by Birlinn Ltd or an authorised representative. No out-of-print titles may be returned unless permission is sought from the publisher. Books may not be returned within three months or after twelve months from receipt by the customer. Single copy returns will not normally be accepted unless by special arrangement. Faulty books must be returned complete. Title page is not acceptable. Returns must be sent to the Booksource warehouse within one month of written authorisation being received, otherwise they may not be accepted. Returns should NOT be sent to the publisher’s office. All returns must have an authorised returns label and should be addressed to: Booksource 50 Cambuslang Road Glasgow G32 8NB


SCOTLAND Seol Ltd West Newington House 10 Newington Road Edinburgh EH9 1QS Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 1456 Fax: +44 (0) 131 668 4466

Alexander McCall Smith 2013 is the 15th anniversary of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

9781846970610 1 November 2007 216x138mm hbk Fiction £50.00 Rights: UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and most popular authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law, then, after the publication of his highly successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over 25 million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction. His various series of books have been translated into over 46 languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. These include the 44 Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the von Igelfeld series and the Corduroy Mansions novels.


THE No. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY Precious Ramotswe, a cheerful woman of traditional build, is the founder of Botswana’s first and only ladies’ detective agency. Here is a gentle interpretation of the detective role: solving her cases through her innate wisdom and understanding of human nature, she ‘helps people with problems in their lives’.

With a tone that is as elegant as that which is unfailingly used by his protagonist, Alexander McCall Smith tenderly unfolds a picture of life in Gaborone with a mastery of comic understatement and an evident sympathy for his subjects and their milieu. In the background of all this is Botswana, a country of vast landscapes and echoing skies, one so beautiful and entrancing that it breaks the heart. Mma Ramotswe has prepared the red bush tea and is waiting for you to join her. She has much to tell you.

Alexander McCall Smith Also available

precious AND THE MONKEYS 9781846972195 pbk £6.99


'Original' version

Cover not yet available These are for small sizes

9781846972553 4 July 2013 185x125mm hbk 96pp Children’s Fiction £9.99 Rights: UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

Weighted version for small sizes (see examples above) Spaced more than 'original' version. 

PRECIOUS and the mystery of the missing lion A New Case for Precious Ramotswe

Well before Precious Ramotswe founded her No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, as an eight-year-old girl she was already solving mysteries. Here, in this delightful, new, enchanting tale for children, we see how the young Precious became the crafty and intuitive detective we all know and love!


Alexander McCall Smith

9781846972539 1 August 2013 Demy Hbk 368pp Fiction £16.99 Rights: UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada

bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers A 44 scotland street novel

Once more, we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith. With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its ninth season in The Scotsman. Anything could happen to Bertie and the gang… Praise for the series: ‘Delightful - his ear for dialogue and his knack for an unlikely plot make this as much a joy as its predecessors’ - Scotland in Trust ‘As charming as the bohemian street in which it’s set’ – Scottish Daily Record It is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging…[his] novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling’ – Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday ‘A treasure of a writer whose books deserve immediate devouring’ – Marcel Berlins, Guardian


Jan-Philipp Sendker

9781846972409 7 March 2013 B pbk 336pp Fiction £8.99 Rights: UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

THE ART OF HEARING HEARTBEATS A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be… until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will change her life once more.

Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a non-fiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is his first novel. He lives in Berlin with his family.

‘A truly beautiful story that will captivate and thaw the coldest of hearts’ – We Love This Book ‘A magical tale to capture your imagination’ – My Weekly ‘Touching and affecting prose’ – Sunday Herald


Stuart Clark

9781846972478 1 February 2013 Demy hbk 288pp Fiction £12.99 Rights: World excluding Japan, Korea, Greece and Canada

Stuart Clark is a former editor of the UK’s bestselling popular astronomy magazine Astronomy Now and a visiting fellow of the University of Hertfordshire. His book The Sun Kings (Princeton University Press, 2007), established him as a popular science writer par excellence. He is Astronomy Consultant for the New Scientist.


All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

THE DAY WITHOUT YESTERDAY The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth Trilogy: Book III

Europe is marching blindly into the First World War and Berlin is in a storm of nationalist marches and army recruitment. Albert Einstein anticipates the carnage to come when his university colleagues begin work on poison gas to ‘shorten the war’. He is also struggling with the collapse of his marriage in the wake of an illicit affair. Increasingly isolated, Einstein finds his academic work sidelined with few people entertaining his outlandish new way of understanding the universe. Meanwhile, in the trenches of the western front, a devoutly religious young Belgian Georges Lemaître vows to become both a physicist and a Catholic priest if he survives. When the war ends, Einstein does make his breakthrough and is thrust into the international limelight. Lemaître confronts him with a startling concept: that buried in the maths of the theory of relativity is a beginning of space and time, a moment when the universe came into existence – a day without yesterday. But can the priest be trusted? Or is he simply trying to foist a version of Biblical Genesis onto Einstein’s now world famous theory.

Stuart Clark Also available

The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth 9781846972157 pbk £8.99

9781846972379 1 February 2013 B format pbk 288pp Fiction £8.99 Rights: World excluding Japan, Korea, Greece and Canada

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks


The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth Trilogy: Book II It is the late seventeenth century and still the movement of the planets remains a mystery despite the revolutionary work of Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Tycho Brahe almost a hundred years previously. Edmond Halley – dynamic adventurer and astronomer – seeks the help of Isaac Newton in unravelling the problem, but though obsessed with understanding the orbits of the planets, Newton has problems of his own which could undermine the essential work. The reclusive mathematician and alchemist has a guilty secret. He stole some of his ideas from Robert Hooke, and the quarrelsome experimentalist is demanding recognition. While capable of the loftiest ideals and theorising, the three men are just as quick to bicker and hold petty grudges which could derail scientific advancement. The men’s lives and work clash as Europe is pushed headlong towards the Age of the Enlightenment and science is catapulted into its next seismic collision with religion.  - Sir Patrick Moore in BBC Sky at Night Magazine

“I had been greatly anticipating this book after reading The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth, the first in Clark’s trilogy, so I was cock-a-hoop when it landed on my desk” – Daily Mail ‘I can’t recommend The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth trilogy highly enough’ – Kathy Stevenson, Daily Mail


Sara Sheridan Also available

Brighton belle 9781846972287 pbk £7.99

London calling 9781846972652 4 July 2013 pbk £7.99

9781846972430 7 March 2013 hbk 256pp Crime Fiction £14.99 Rights: WEL

Sara Sheridan writes fiction for adults and children. Previous recent novels include The Secret Mandarin (2009) and Secret of the Sands (2011), both HarperCollins. She studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin. Sara sits on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland and is Project Manager for the 26 Treasures Project in Scotland 2011. Sara has her own website – www. – and is very active on Facebook and Twitter. She lives in Edinburgh with her family.

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks


A MIRABELLE BEVAN MYSTERY 1952, London. When eighteen-year-old debutante Rose Bellamy Gore goes missing in a seedy Soho jazz club the prime suspect is young sax player, Lindon Claremont. Lindon hightails it to Brighton to seek the help of his childhood friend, Vesta, who works with exSecret Service Mirabelle Bevan. When Lindon is taken into custody the two women dive into London’s underworld of smoky night clubs, fast cars and lethal cocktails to establish the truth. Praise for Brighton Belle

‘Mirabelle has a dogged tenacity to rival Poirot’ – Sunday Herald ‘I was gripped from start to finish’ – Newbooks Magazine ‘Unfailingly stylish, undeniably smart’ – Daily Record ‘A crime force to be reckoned with’ – Good Reads

‘Plenty of colour and action, will engage the reader from the first page to the last. Highly recommended’ – Bookbag


Gillian Galbraith Also available

Where the Shadow Falls 9781846971068 pbk £7.99

9781846972522 25 April 2013 B pbk 224pp Crime Fiction £7.99 Rights: WEL

Dying of the Light 9781846971433 pbk £7.99

No Sorrow to Die 9781846971754 pbk £7.99

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

the road to hell An Alice Rice Mystery

When the body of a half-clothed woman is discovered in an Edinburgh park, a murder investigation is launched. The victim has not been reported missing and there are few clues to her identity. Soon after, the naked corpse of a prominent clergyman is found, also in a park. DS Alice Rice wonders if the same killer is at work and, if so, what is the connection between the apparently motiveless attacks? The Road to Hell, the fifth in the Alice Rice series, takes the policewoman to new personal depths and along a trail that leads to some of Edinburgh’s darkest and scariest corners. Praise for Gillian Galbraith: ‘Highly readable’ – Alexander McCall Smith

Gillian Galbraith grew up near Haddington. For seventeen years she was an advocate specialising in medical negligence and agricultural law cases. Before qualifying in law she worked for a time as an agony aunt in magazines for teenagers. Since then she has been the legal correspondent for the Scottish Farmer and has written law reports for The Times. She lives near Kinross with her husband and daughter, plus assorted cats, dogs, hens and bees.

‘Avenger of evil, DS Alice Rice, has come of age’ – Scottish Field ‘[Galbraith] offers a much needed female perspective on the city and the genre’ – Scottish field


Rosemary Goring

9781846972720 6 June 2013 215 x 153mm Hbk 336pp Historical Fiction £14.99 Rights: World (excluding Canada)

Rosemary Goring was born in Dunbar, and took a degree in history at St Andrews University, winning a prize for Scottish History in her final year. She began a career in publishing in the role of in-house editor for Chambers Biographical Dictionary and has since edited and written for many reference books. She was Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday for several years before taking up the position of Literary Editor and columnist at The Herald and Sunday Herald. In 2007 her book Scotland the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw It Happen was published to great acclaim by Viking. After Flodden is her first novel.


All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

AFTER FLODDEN 1513: The bloody Battle of Flodden is over, the Scottish king is killed, the English rampantly victorious. The fighting may have finished but the real war has only just begun for Louise Brenier, a young woman searching for her brother lost in action at the battle. Louise enlists the help of James IV’s right-hand man, Patrick Paniter, who is wracked with guilt at events leading up to the disastrous battle. He’s only too happy to salve his conscience by helping Louise, but the news he brings isn’t enough. Determined to find the truth herself Louise sets off only swiftly to fall foul of the lawless clans ruling the wild borderlands between Scotland and England. Five centuries after one of the most pivotal battles in British history, the story of those blood-soaked and ungovernable days is brought vividly to life by Rosemary Goring in a tale rich in history, political intrigue, high adventure and romance. ‘After Flodden is a highly accomplished début, fast-paced and full of engaging characters, set at a key moment in the history of relations between Scotland and England. A stimulating and satisfying read.’ – James Robertson

Ken McClure Also available

Lost causes 9781846972133 pbk £7.99

9781846972676 2 May 2013 B pbk 256pp Thriller/Fiction £8.99 Rights: World

Donor 9781846971624 pbk £7.99

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

Hypocrites’ isle From a master of the thriller, this is a compellingly urgent tale of our times. Hypocrites’ Isle exposes the desperate paradoxes of the medical research industry, the corruption of academia, the hidden politics of drug manufacture, and the chilling human tragedy of a system in which the cost of doing the right thing is sometimes too high. ‘Scrupulously observed and completely persuasive’ – The Telegraph ‘The most frightening thing is that he makes it all so believable’ – Doug Johnstone

Wildcard 9781846971631 pbk £7.99

Ken McClure is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been translated into over 20 languages and who has earned a reputation for meticulous research and the chilling accuracy of his predictions. McClure’s work is informed by his background as an award-winning research scientist with the UK’s Medical Research Council.


Rita Monaldi & Francesco Sorti Also available

imprimatur 9781846972645 pbk £9.99

9781846972577 6 June 2013 hbk 736pp Fiction £16.99 WEL

Rita Monaldi was born in 1966 and is an expert in the history of religions. Her husband Francesco Sorti was born in 1964 and has a background in musicology. Both Rita and Francesco have worked as journalists, but in recent years they have collaborated on several historical novels including Imprimatur and its sequels Secretum and Veritas. They live with their two young children in Vienna and Rome.

Secretum 9781846971464 pbk £9.99

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

ImprImatur 11 September 1683. Rome is a city on a knife-edge. The citizens wait anxiously for news of the outcome of the Battle of Vienna, as the Islamic forces of the Ottoman Empire lay siege to the defenders of Catholic Europe. Meanwhile a suspected outbreak of plague causes a famous Roman tavern to be placed under quarantine. Among those detained in the Locanda Donzello is the mysterious Atto Melani, a spy in the service of the French king. With the help of the young serving boy, he discovers a secret passage leading to a network of tunnels under the city. Their nocturnal journeys into the Roman underworld lead them to some startling discoveries about the deadly enmity between Pope Innocent XI and Louis XIV, and a plot to unleash a weapon of mass destruction in the battle between Islam and the West. Praise for Monaldi & Sorti

‘Absorbing and fascinating’ – New Books Magazine ‘Their novels are so rich in colour and context that it’s often hard to tell where the history stops and the fiction starts,’ – The Lady


David Ashton Also available

Shadow of the Serpent 9781846971938 pbk £8.99

9781846972515 6 September 2013 B pbk 288pp Historical Fiction £8.99 Rights: World

Fall From Grace 9781846970504 pbk £6.99

A Trick of the Light 9781846972027 pbk £8.99

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks


An Inspector McLevy Mystery 1887. The streets of Edinburgh seethe with youthful anarchy as two rival gangs of students, Scarlet Runners and White Devils, try to outdo each other in wild exploits. After a pitched battle between them, an old woman is found savagely battered to death in Leith Harbour. Enter Inspector James McLevy, a little more grizzled, but unchanging in his fierce desire to mete out justice. As the inspector delves further he meets up with one Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Jekyll and Hyde, in the city to bury his recently deceased father. Praise for David Ashton

David Ashton was born in Greenock in 1941. He studied at Central Drama School, London, from 1964 to 1967, and most recently appeared in The Last King of Scotland. David started writing in 1984 and he has seen many of his plays and TV adaptations broadcast – he wrote early episodes of EastEnders and Casualty, and six McLevy series for BBC Radio 4.

‘A real page-turner’ – Sunday Post ‘McLevy is a sort of Victorian Morse with a heart... David Ashton impeccably evokes Edinburgh.’ – Financial Times


Barry Fantoni

9781846972706 6 June 2013 B pbk 208pp Fiction £6.99 Rights: UK & Commonwealth

Barry Fantoni has had a long and illustrious career in the arts – from writing scripts for That Was The Week That Was and presenting BBC series A Whole Scene Going (for which he won TV Personality of the Year) to writing and drawing cartoons for Private Eye and The Listener, and being an art critic for The Times. He attended the Slade School of Fine Art and was a key figure in the 1960s pop art movement. Barry now lives in France where he plays jazz, writes plays and poetry, and plans to write two volumes of memoirs.


All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

Harry Lipkin, p.i.

the world’s oldest detective He might not be the fastest P.I. in Miami, but octogenarian Harry Lipkin is definitely the oldest. His specialty is taking on the cases the police just aren’t interested in – and his latest case is a doozy. Someone on the staff of wealthy widow Norma Weinberger is stealing from her. Nothing fancy, no diamond-encrusted teapots or anything, but enough to rattle her. Harry takes on the case, navigating his way – gingerly – through a twilight world of boxing, gambling and gangs to find the truth.

Elegantly written and illustrated throughout, Harry Lipkin, P.I. is a life-affirming tale of ageing and mortality as well as a laugh-out-loud whodunit. An intoxicating blend of Woody Allen, Raymond Chandler and Larry David, this book is perfect for Father’s Day. ‘Wisecracking and wise, humorous and humane – this is a great new tale with an original twist’ – Ian Hislop

Peggy Blair

9781846972348 4 July 2013 B pbk 352pp Crime Fiction £8.99 Rights: UK/ Commonwealth excl. Canada

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

MIDNIGHT IN HAVANA In beautiful, crumbling Old Havana, Canadian detective Mike Ellis hopes the sun and sand will help save his troubled marriage. He doesn’t yet know that it’s dead in the water – much like the little Cuban boy last seen begging the Canadian couple for a few pesos. For Inspector Ricardo Ramirez, head of the Major Crimes Unit of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police, finding his prime suspect isn’t a problem – Cuban law is. He has only seventy-two hours to secure an indictment and prevent a vicious killer from leaving the island. But Ramirez has his own troubles. He’s dying of the same illness that killed his grandmother, an incurable disease that makes him see the ghosts of victims of unsolved murders. As he races against time, the dead haunt his every step.

Peggy Blair has practised law for more than thirty years, working as both a criminal defence lawyer and Crown prosecutor, and is a former member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

‘Passion, corruption, danger… a Cuba set thriller that satisfyingly delivers’ – Andrew Pyper


Jake Simons Also available

The English German Girl 9781846972089 pbk £8.99

9781846972737 4 July 2013 B pbk 336pp T hriller £7.99 Rights: WEL excluding USA/Philippines

Jake Simons is a novelist, journalist and graphic artist. His acclaimed first novel, The Exiled Times of a Tibetan Jew, was named by the Independent on Sunday as a Book of the Year. Jake writes features for The Times, the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday, the Telegraph, La Repubblica and other publications, and he is a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent. Born in London in 1978, he is a fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, and Practitionerin-Residence at Bournemouth University. He lives with his family in Winchester.


All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

The Pure Disaffected ex-Mossad agent Uzi works as a security guard and low-level drug dealer in London. He gets the chance to expose the ruthlessness of his former employers by giving the details of a topsecret assassination operation to WikiLeaks – a story so damaging to the Israeli government that an opposition party is prepared to pay to ensure WikiLeaks gets the scoop. But once it’s out there, Uzi will be a marked man… Praise for Jake Simons’ The English German Girl: ‘Fascinating and moving’ – Monica Ali

‘Absolutely compelling’ – Sarah Crown, The Guardian ‘Well-researched and very moving’ – The Times ‘Rings with such authenticity… his research is formidable’ – The Melbourne Age

Andrew Greig Also available

getting higher 9781846971921 pbk £12.99

9781846972690 13 February 2013 B pbk 72pp Poetry £8.99 Rights: World

FOUND AT SEA Andrew Greig recounts in poetic sequence the tale of his open dinghy voyage from Stromness in Scapa Flow and an overnight stay on Cava (an island formerly inhabited for over twenty years by two unusual women) in poetic sequence. In sailing small boats in scary open waters Andrew Greg found a new activity and a new metaphor for life. Written in six weeks, Found at Sea is a ‘very wee epic’ about sailing, male friendship and a voyage. Bon voyage! ‘A bold attempt at imbuing epic scope and adventure into a book-length sequence’ – Guardian ‘One of the best things I’ve read so far this year is Found At Sea, a new book of poems by Andrew Greig’ – Scotsman

Andrew Greig‘s first book was the poetry collection White Boats and his novel, In Another Light, won the Saltire Society prize in 2004. He has also had success with mountaineering titles, including Summit Fever and the mountain poetry collections Men on Ice and Surviving Passages. In 1996 The Return of John Macnab was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Award.


Michael Pedersen

9781846972607 4 July 2013 B pbk 80pp Poetry £9.99 Rights: World

Michael Pedersen is a poet, playwright and animateur with an electric reputation on the performance circuit and a prolific precedent of collaborations, having teamed up with some of the UK’s top musicians, film-makers and artists. He is co-founder and circus master at Neu! Reekie! – now one of the country’s most formidable literary nights and DIY record labels – and a key creative within Dream Tower Productions. He’s also the lyricist for cult band Jesus, Baby! and has written short plays for various troupes including the National Theatre of Scotland.

PLAY WITH ME From NHS overdose clinics to overrun gardens, talking Cambodian treehouses to the teenage perversion of a young Scot on a French exchange, Pedersen’s poetry is a rich and fantastical feast of flavours, landscape and language. On the menu is everything from iced oysters and chateaubriand to pickled onions and Buckfast-soaked bread sticks. Like the man himself, these poems will tingle toes and raise eyebrows in equal measures. ‘Michael’s poems are so physical you can almost touch the images in them. Fabulously sensual and alive. I adore poetry like this’ – Stephen Fry ‘Michael Pedersen’s first collection, playful indeed from its provocative and inviting title onwards, is a breath of fresh air’ – Liz Lochhead ‘Plenty of gems in this wordpile’ – John Hegley ‘If you like poetry that is cool, smart, hilarious and quirky and can just suddenly rip your heart out, Michael Pedersen is your man’ – Irvine Welsh ‘How exciting to come across a writer with such vigour’ – Ewen Bremner


Meg Bateman

9781846972591 4 July 2013 98x129mm pbk 108pp Poetry £9.99 Rights: World

TRANSPARENCIES Meg Bateman vividly evokes the landscape of Scotland, particularly the brooding presences of the Scottish islands and Sutherland, and touches on personal love and loss in this intimate and celebratory collection. ‘‘Transparencies is a strong collection showing a highly skilled poet on top of her craft, using language and imagery in a sensitive but candid way, and speaking with a very individual voice’ – Brian McCabe ‘Meg Bateman’s embrace of Gaelic has awakened her poetry to a noble passionate candour rare in today’s over-ironical English’ – Les Murray

Meg Bateman was born in Edinburgh in 1959. Her poetry is included in numerous anthologies such as the Penguin Book of Scottish Verse and the Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945. Her two collections, Aotromachd / Lightness and Soirbheas / Fair Wind, both published by Polygon, were shortlisted for the Scottish Book of the Year award in 1997 and 2007.


Kathleen Jamie & Brigid Collins

9781846972751 1 August 2013 Hbk 40pp Poetry £15.00 Rights: UK and Commonwealth

'Original' version

Kathleen Jamie’s poetry collections to date include The Overhaul which won the 2012 Costa Poetry Prize and The Tree House, which won the Scottish Book of the Year Award. Her non-fiction includes the highly regarded volumes Findings and Sightlines. She is Professor of Poetry at Stirling University, and lives with her family in Fife. These are for small sizes


Prose Poems and Artworks Frissure is an exquisite collection of prose-poems and illustrative work exploring healing, mortality, intimacy, memory and the natural world. It is about the intimate process of looking and seeing as it passes from one person – a cancer patient – looking at herself, from being ‘examined’ by a surgeon, to being looked at by an artist. In each situation a transformation occurs. The gaze of the patient on her own body and its post-operative scarring is objectified by that of the surgeon assessing the success of his work. But then the creative eye of the artist takes over and what was regarded as a mark of disease and of violation takes on an extraordinary flowering, and becomes a thing of beauty.

Weighted version for small sizes (see examples above) Spaced more than 'original' version. 

Brigid Collins is an artist, illustrator and lecturer. She runs creative workshops for all ages and also lectures at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, in Dundee.


James Adair

9781846972508 22 April 2013 218 x 145mm pbk 224pp True Life/Adventure £12.99 Rights: World

All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

Rowing AfteR the white whAle A Crossing of the Indian Ocean by Hand

‘Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut’ – Ernest Hemingway Over a boozy Sunday lunch, flatmates James Adair and Ben Stenning made a promise to row across the ocean. At first they considered the Pacific, then the Atlantic, but once James Cracknell and Ben Fogle completed the high-profile Atlantic rowing race, their thoughts turned to the Indian Ocean, longer and tougher than the Atlantic and having seen fewer people row across its waters than have walked on the moon.

James Adair read Modern History at the University of St Andrews. To finance his dream of rowing an ocean he took a job as a shipbroker with HSBC in London. In the aftermath of his and Ben’s incredible journey, he has returned to shipbrokerage and is currently based in Ghana.

After years of planning and fund raising, they are ready to launch in spring 2011. Neither James nor Ben had any rowing or sailing experience. To add to this, James had contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome at the age of 14, which had locked his body into total paralysis for three months (while his mind had remained completely active) and which had left him with paralysed feet. This was a challenge that neither man should have ever considered…


Elizabeth Laird

9781846972461 1 August 2013 C pbk 304pp Travel and Adventure ÂŁ12.99 Rights: World

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand in 1943, the fourth of five children. In 1945, Laird and her family returned to Britain and she grew up in South London, where she was educated at Croydon High School, university in Bristol and Edinburgh University.


All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

The Lure of The honey Bird The Storytellers of Ethiopia

In 1967, at the age of 23, Elizabeth Laird set off for Addis Ababa to take up her first teaching post. She was introduced to Haile Selassie, made a pilgrimage across the mountains on foot to the ancient city of Lalibela, hitched a ride on an oil tanker across the Danakil Desert, and was arrested for a murder she had not committed. Back in Britain, Laird established herself as a major author of fiction for children and young adults, but she always wanted to return to Ethiopia. Her chance came in the late 1990s, when the British Council in Addis Ababa invited her to collect folk stories from every region of the country. Encountering ex-guerrilla fighters, camel traders, Coptic nuns and tribespeople en route, Laird has written a remarkable account of her journey interwoven with a treasure trove of stories featuring princes and maidens, snakes and lions, zombies and hyena-women.

Harry Papadopoulos

9781846972560 15 April 2013 254mm x 254mm pbk 146pp Photography £20.00 Rights: World

What Presence!

The Rock Photography of Harry Papadopoulos Foreword by Peter Capaldi Harry Papadopoulos began his photographic career outside the Apollo in Glasgow, flogging photographs to gig-goers. He soon moved to London, and from 1979 to 1984 worked as a staff photographer for Sounds, for which he provided countless front covers. During those five years he covered Blondie, David Bowie, DEVO, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Clash, Fun Boy Three, Wham!, ABC, Edwyn Collins, the Associates and many, many more. Harry’s London flat also became home to fellow Scots such as Aztec Camera, Orange Juice and the Bluebells, all of whom are documented in this remarkable collection. Relive the inky-fingered days of the 1980s music press with this fascinating look at the work of guerrilla lensman Harry Papadopoulos and savour the recollections of Vic Godard, Jon Savage, Roddy Frame and Clare Grogan, among others.

‘It’s wild seeing this stuff … reminds me of being a kid who loved and lived for nothing except for music/bands. It seems like that was also Harry’s life/ passion ‘cos I bet he never made much money from this stuff … he was doing it ‘cos he believed in the music, the bands, the scene. I can tell that from the photos. I hope you enjoy the photos in this book as much as I have’ – Bobby Gillespie

Harry Papadopoulos was born in Garelochhead in 1954. He studied electrical and electronic engineering at Paisley College of Technology and later became a teacher of maths and physics. A self-taught photographer who began his career taking photographs at gigs in the late 1970s and 1980s, following a long stint at music weekly Sounds he became editor of Marvel Comics publications such as Star Trek and The Flintstones. In August 2002 Harry suffered a brain aneurysm and returned home to Glasgow in 2006 where he now lives.


Vic Galloway

9781846972355 1 August 2013 210 x 146mm pbk 288pp Music/Biography ÂŁ12.99 Rights: World

Vic Galloway is a BBC Radio broadcaster and TV presenter whose radio programmes have been broadcast for more than a decade on Radio 1, Radio Scotland and 6 Music. His music journalism has appeared in a number of publications, including the Times and The Herald. Vic is also a musician and member of the Fence Collective.


All the books on this page are also available as eBooks

SONGS IN THE KEY OF FIFE The Story of the Beta Band, King Creosote, KT Tunstall, James Yorkston and the Fence Collective

The East Neuk of Fife may seem like an unusual place for a musical revolution. However, in amongst the sleepy fishing villages and rolling fields, a small community of gifted musicians has quietly crept up on the world. From psychedelic troubadours The Beta Band to the multimillion-selling KT Tunstall, acclaimed singer-songwriter James Yorkston and the reigning monarch and lynchpin of the Fence Collective, King Creosote, Songs in the Key of Fife plots the unique, intertwining tales of these Fifers from their schooldays to the present day.

George Mackay Brown

9781904598657 2 May 2013 B Pbk 192pp Fiction £7.99 Rights: World

9781846970627 2 May 2013 B pbk 192pp Fiction £6.99 Rights: World



A Time to Keep is George Mackay Brown’s second volume of short stories inspired by both ancient and modern life on the island of Orkney. First published in 1969, its twelve stories depict a vast range of characters drawn from Orkney’s past and present, offering a range of emotions and incidents. They are elemental tales of the fishermen, crofters and farmers of the island and the harsh beautiful landscape in which they live.

First published in 1973, Magnus is George Mackay Brown’s tour de force – his most poetic and innovative book. He links the twelfth-century story of the saintly Earl Magnus of Orkney’s brutal murder at the hands of his cousin Hakon Paulson, to that of the philosopher Dietrich Bonhoeffer, murdered by the Nazis during World War II. A unique exploration of the eternal questions of guilt, goodness and personal sacrifice.

‘A precise, poetic and dazzling writer’ – Guardian

‘A distinctive and distinguished novel, of unusual power and purity Brown uses language with beautiful precision, resource and power’ – The Sunday Times


Polygon New Titles 2013  

New titles published by Polygon in 2013.