- Mark Edmundson
- 14 August 2008
This article is from 2008.
Analysing icons of football and fiction
‘Faith is something that preoccupies me, definitely, but it is usually the lack of it,’ says Rodge Glass, the Glasgow-based Jewish author of No Fireworks and Hope for Newborns who passed through a staggering range of variously religious, private and state-educational institutions on his way to Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities. ‘I feel so affected by the many places I was educated because none of them felt like home,’ he says.
Unsurprisingly, his debut focused on Jewish identity while his recently published follow-up, the tale of two young and powerless revolutionaries in Manchester, is more concerned with ‘British’ identity. ‘I have lived in Scotland for a decade now, so I use that word advisedly,’ he says.
With more work on the backburner, namely ‘a big futuristic political novel that is serious and a small silly football book about Eric Cantona,’ Glass will be using one of his Book Festival appearances to talk to personal hero Will Self about his forthcoming biography of author, playwright, poet and artist Alasdair Gray. ‘It is half a traditional biography analysing his life and work, and half a diary-led portrait of the artist as a remarkable old man,’ says Glass, to whom Gray has acted as teacher, mentor, boss and now subject. ‘It is finished but part of our arrangement was that though he has co-operated all the way through, he has not seen a word and will not until after publication. It’s a measure of the man that he has given me that freedom.’
16 Aug (with Stella Duffy & William Sutcliffe), 12.30pm, £9 (£7); 25 Aug (with Will Self), 10.15am, £9 (£7).