Waterstones U-turns over unbranded bookshop in Edinburgh

Stockbridge branch to open under Waterstones name rather than appearing independent

Waterstones has backtracked on plans to open one of its new unbranded stores in a district of Edinburgh that is already home to an independent bookshop – following an outcry that included criticism from figures including the Scottish novelist Val McDermid.

A shop will be opened in the Stockbridge area of the city but it will be clearly branded as Waterstones, according to the company’s managing director, James Daunt, who admitted: “We messed up.”

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Waterstones accused of breaking pledge not to take on independents

Bookseller under fire for opening unbranded Edinburgh store in competition with existing shop

Waterstones has been accused of breaking a pledge not to open a new breed of unbranded stores in areas that are already home to independent bookshops after the company announced plans to expand in Edinburgh.

The bookseller is to open Stockbridge Books in the Scottish city’s Stockbridge suburb next spring, it emerged on Monday.

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Marx bicentenary to be marked by exhibitions, books – and pub crawls

Renewed interest in philosopher fires celebrations of 200 years since his birth on 5 May 1818

A spectre is haunting Europe in 2018 – to borrow from one of his catchier one-liners – the spectre of Karl Marx himself.

Two hundred years after the philosopher’s birth, a small industry is gathering pace, from plans for major events in Trier, the city on the Moselle where he was born, to a new tour of the Manchester streets that he and Friedrich Engels walked as they discussed the condition of the city’s emerging working class. The bicentenary on 5 May will be marked with exhibitions, lectures, conferences, histories and novels.

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Historical fiction and ‘alternative facts’ … Mantel reveals all about retelling our past

The Wolf Hall author discusses the line between truth and fantasyHilary Mantel’s gripping account of life in the court of Henry VIII has transformed the art of historical fiction, combining exhaustive research with imagination to produce a vivid portrayal of the tyrannical king, his wives and courtiers that has won her two Man Booker prizes and inspired an award-winning television adaptation. Now she is turning the skills she has developed in her writing to examine a much more modern theme – how fact and fiction can become confused to produce “alternative facts”. Continue reading...

Real-life superhero? Marvel and DC comics back down against Londoner

Graham Jules wins two-and-a-half-year fight against comic giants over use of word ‘superhero’ in his book title It seemed like far from an even fight at first glance – with the multibillion dollar forces behind Batman, Superman and Captain America in one corner and a small scale British entrepreneur on the other. But after a two-and-a-half-year wrangle with Graham Jules, it is the combined might of the comic book giants Marvel and DC who have raised a white flag after initially claiming that using the word superhero would infringe their jointly owned trademark. Continue reading...

Authors support occupation of south London library in protest against closure

Neil Gaiman, Nick Hornby and Colm Tóibín back action at Carnegie Library which has been occupied after closure by Lambeth council

Leading authors have come out in support of the occupation of a much-loved south London community library at the sharp end of spending cuts that are presenting an existential crisis for libraries across the country.

Neil Gaiman, Nick Hornby and Colm Tóibín are among more than 220 writers and illustrators who signed a letter with 24 hours of being asked to support the occupiers of Carnegie Library and condemn changes to Lambeth’s library service.

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Anita Brookner, art historian and Booker prize winner, dies age 87

Author and first female Slade professor of art published 24 novels including Hotel du Lac which won her the Booker Prize in 1984 The literary world was in mourning for Anita Brookner, the celebrated novelist and art historian who has died. Brookner, the surprise winner of the Booker prize for fiction in 1984, was 87, and been highly regarded for her style andstories centring on the theme of middle class loneliness, often featuring female protagonists. Continue reading...

Petition urges Cardiff University to cancel Germaine Greer lecture

Change.org petition calls on university to ban lecture by feminist academic for alleged transphobic comments

An online petition has been launched seeking to prevent Germaine Greer from giving a lecture at Cardiff University, claiming her views are “problematic” for transgender people.

The petition on Change.org was started by Rachael Melhuish, Women’s Officer at the university’s students’ union, and alleges that Greer has “demonstrated misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether”.

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