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Winning is as easy as Pi

Edinburgh publishing house goes from strength to strength. Words: Ruth Hedges

he sound of cnampagne corks popping and Me sweet s'nerl of success l‘axe heen drifting ..p the starrs for the

past ‘ortnrglit. ()anongate Books. iocated Just heiow The list l'drr‘htrrgh offices. has been celehratrng rts Booker pr/e ‘.'.."n with Yann Mar‘tel's l :r‘e of Pr and sale of frlr': r gl‘ts to Mzc'r‘er i aher's (Ir/insert Petal and the l'flrrfe to Common Sony for S‘m.

l‘. rs a "‘zghty triumph. for the E;"‘.£t|[. :ndependent i)trl)l'f3."-Z:' .'..".cn nas :;t't.ggI-e<r wrtn frnancal cr'rsrs for most of ts ($1) year l‘tstor‘y. l orn‘ed in Mid hy hushand a":r wife team Ar‘gus ar‘d Stephane \“Jotfe Murray. t'tel drr‘t:..rgh prrhlrsnrr‘g house nas {Luff .rp a 'ept.tatrc". for hrgh :rualrty. hrave puhl-sh ng. It '.'.'as the house to bring Alasdair Gray's rnonan‘ental l anark into fine world, descrrhed hy now owner Jarrtie Byng as 'argaahry the most srgrrt’rcant novel to he puhlrshed out of Scotland since the ‘.'./ar".

Byng roned Canongate lll i992 at the age of 91% as a volunteer. and two years later ‘.'.'as huyng rt out. He moved the offices to its

current spot. ‘It's been a very happy erght year‘s pretty

Nothing compares to Glasgow in January

‘We decided it was a better way forward to pubfish fewer books’

return in rts usual location at the (Ientral l lotel and ‘.'.r'rth Shane M<:(‘.o\.';an " town, I.

exhilarating. art-rays a roller coaster rrde.‘ he says.

lhrs year Canongate has heen flying, hut Hyng won't let rt go to hrs head: ‘lt's not gorng to change the way we do things at all at d we certainly won't he rnovrng.'

lt rs. rf anything. dos/nsr/rng. puhlrshrng fewer hooks than hefore. 'We decided rt was a hetter’ strategrc way forward to puhlrsh fewer hooks. to he even more selective ahout what we acdurref

lhrs focused approach is the key to rts success. And ()mrongate's p; ssron for its authors won the trust of Martel. Brddrng agarnst l ondon house i aher. Byng wrote a letter that frnally convinced him. 'Yann Martel loved what I wrote ahout the novel.' st ys Byng. ‘l was explaining what I thought of the hook and hov.’ rt was somethrng that I cared enor'rrrously ahout puhlrshrng]

But he rs keen to stress the collective effort rnvolwd. ‘We‘ye got an rncredrhly smart and comrrrrtted team of people here.‘

The rrnplrcatrons are great for (Ianongate. and once rts feet settle hack on the ground. an excrtrng new chapter rn rts story wrll hegrn.

I O Connor and Bragg connect Celtic Connections celebrates tenth anniversary. Words: Jane Hamilton

or a festival that was orrgrnally started to frll the empty January months. ()eltrc ()onnectrons has come a long way. Now launchrng rts programme of events for 90013 rt rs also delrghted to he celehr‘atrng rts tenth year.

Wrth year onyear success. the festival had a record 94.000 ticket sales rn 20f)? whrch created a hoost of S‘flm for the crty of Glasgow. Not had consrderrng a ltrgt‘. percentage of those attendrng were from outsrde the crty. lhrs year rt hopes to do ever‘ hetter durrng the festrval which runs from to January to Q l ehruar‘y.

Utrlrsrng over ten of the crty's v )llllf3f‘) including the Royal Concert Hall. the Arcnes and for the first trrne in many years. the lr'arrrway. the festival has managed to hook anothe' gualrty lrne up of performers hoth old and new. Wrth a mrx of those who helped start the festrval and new talent. there rs somethrng for everyone from kids titrout n to tradrtronalrsts and these who lrke thrngs a hrt more contemporary

lhe hrg names Include Srnead ()‘(Ionnor Billy Bragg. [.)onnre Munro, l xeryn (‘r'ennre and Shane McGowan and the Popes. As always there rs a long list of respected musrcrans performing as well as the festh'al's education programme and master

classes. l or those who like to carry on rnto the night the legendary lestxar (huh tail!

could all get ‘rorrrhly messy.

Mason’s chainsawg... massacre

Coming soon

I Having emerged from the shadow of her filmmaker father. Francis Ford. with her very fine directing debut The Virgin Suicides. Sofia Coppola is in Japan shooting a second film. Lost in Translation stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as two Americans who meet and spend a week together in Tokyo . . . Marilyn Manson is composing the score for a remake of the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The soundtrack duties come after Manson's appearance in Michael Moore's documentary Bowling for Columbine and an acting role in a forthcoming film about a real~life murder in the New York club scene. where he appears alongside Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green

. . . Meanwhile. Leith's most famous musical twins The Proclaimers have recorded a theme tune to the hit American sit— com The Drew Carey Show. The theme. a cover of the Vogues' 1965 song ‘Five O'Clock World', was requested by Carey who wants to “freshen up' his show . . . Not coming soon. or anytime in the future, is an eighth Harry Potter book. JK Rowling's literary agent has denied the author plans to write an eighth novel. Confusion arose when Warner Brothers registered three movie titles —- The Alchemr'st's Cell, The Chariots of Light and The Pyramids of Fur/hat ~ with the UK patent office, bringing the total to eight.