It's a little difficult to know where to begin a review of "The People's City". Perhaps a good place is with the foreword, by the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, who begins by saying: "It gives me great pleasure to see the fourth anthology to be published in aid of the OneCity Trust; along with the continued support of three of Edinburgh's most famous authors and original contributors from our first book, 'OneCity', published in 2005."
It obviously helps for a reader or potential reader to know that a book is supporting a good cause: but it helps at least as much to know that what lies between the covers is going to repay their effort in reading it. We found "The People's City" to be varied and entertaining, and a book we'd wholeheartedly recommend on its own merits.
You get a little more sense of the book from the publisher's description of it. "The world’s first UNESCO city of literature, Edinburgh is steeped in literary history. It is the birthplace of a beloved cast of fictional characters from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter. It is the home of the Writer’s Museum, where quotes from writers of the past pave the steps leading up to it. A city whose beauty is matched only by the intrigue of its past, and where Robert Louis Stevenson said, ‘there are no stars so lovely as Edinburgh’s street-lamps’. And to celebrate the city, its literature, and more importantly, its people, Polygon and the One City Trust have brought together writers – established and emerging – to write about the place they call home. Based around landmarks or significant links to Edinburgh each story transports the reader to a different decade in the city’s recent past. Through these stories each author reflects on the changes, both generational and physical, in the city in which we live."
Five authors contributed stories to this book, while Irvine Welsh wrote the introduction. We will again borrow from the publisher in describing the authors: "Nadine Aisha Jassat is the author of poetry collection Let Me Tell You This (404 Ink) and was named in Jackie Kay’s International Literature Showcase Selection of 10 Compelling ‘BAME’ writers working in the UK. Anne Hamilton is the author of the travel memoir, A Blonde Bengali Wife. She lives in Edinburgh with her young son. Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the highly successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies. Since then he has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. Ian Rankin is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. Sara Sheridan is the author of the Mirabelle Bevan Murder Mysteries and Where are the Women."
Read and enjoy!