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Donny O’Rourke finds himself in the book-blessed town of Ullapool in May, celebrating the bonfires and bluebells of the Celtic Beltane festival.

Chris Arthur reflects on the inspirations of his ‘odd-object’ essays, and considers the popularity of this particular form and the most important aspect of oddness within it.

Kerry Young speaks with Frances Byrnes about how her early life in Jamaica influenced her novels: her father’s gangster life in Kingston and her mother’s Catholicism and ideas of redemption and Kerry’s passionate feelings about being Chinese-Jamaican.

‘While I was cocooned in white suburbia, Ruth First, like me the daughter of East European Jewish immigrants, dared to stand up. She was punished. How brutally she was punished.’