Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Ned Beauman

This article is from 2014

*4ned Beauman

Th award-winning author of Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident discusses his latest, Glow

Ned Beauman is sticking it to the man. Not in the literal sense of waving two fingers at those who have found his latest novel Glow not as good as his previous two offerings, Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident, but more in emphasising – in his quiet, measured way – why this is his favourite.

‘People haven’t liked it as much as the others, but this is the one that I’ve got the most fondness for,’ he says. ‘It’s the most personal in many ways. It’s the one in which there’s the most stuff that delights me, even if other people haven’t responded the same way.’

Part thriller, part love letter to London, Glow’s story follows Raf, a heartbroken Londoner who uncovers an international conspiracy and has to try and save his city. To give away any more would be to dampen the complex, energetic narrative that Beauman has created. But one thing is certain: his talent with language has created an incomparable sense of place.

‘I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish in capturing certain things about South London and going out and 2010,’ he says, ‘so whenever I re-read those bits, I’m not sitting there feeling smug about my genius, but I am pleased that I managed to get on the page these things that I’ve wanted to get on the page for a long time.’

Currently based in New York, he’ll soon be heading back across the Atlantic to do a whistle-stop in Edinburgh for the Book Festival. ‘I’m only in Edinburgh for 24 hours and I have to do two shows,’ he says. ‘But there’s always very warm crowds and very long lines afterwards to sign books, much more so than normal events, so that’s appealing.’

The Bookshop Band (part of Jura Unbound), 21 Aug, 9pm, free. Ned Beauman & Clemens J Setz, 22 Aug, 10.15am, £10 (£8). All events Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888.

Ned Beauman & Clemens J Setz

Quite possibly Britain’s best hope for the future of literature, Ned Beauman’s first two novels have already picked up multiple prizes. Now he presents Glow, set in a strange South London where nothing quite seems to make sense. With a similar talent and a similarly unusual novel, Clemens J Setz returns with Indigo.

Jura Unbound

A playful, powerful literary experience to launch our special Spoken Word programme, Babble On. This year's line-up includes Stanley Odd, Nasty Little Press, the Bookshop Band and more.