Alumni Services

August 2014

This month’s shelf of alumni publications is an international selection covering Iran, Germany, France and Luxembourg, with a little bit of shiatsu therapy on the side.


Author Andrew Kennedy
Degree BSc (1974)
Book SHIATSU • What it is • What it does • Why it matters

Andrew Kennedy’s new book is about shiatsu therapy, its philosophy and practice in the clinical setting.

The book interleaves discussions about the philosophy and history behind shiatsu and its practical application with details of 25 varied stories and case histories taken from the author's practice, and discusses where the therapy's future lies in the wider world of health care.

It is written for those who are curious about the therapy, for students of shiatsu, for practitioners and for psychologists and doctors who want to understand how the therapy is used.

View "Shiatsu" on the publisher's website


Author Richard M Marshall
Degree Computer Science & Mathematics BSc (1983), PhD (1987)
Book The Botanist

When an English scientist dies in mysterious circumstances at his house in the South of France, James Hamilton is dispatched to make discreet inquiries. Disguised as a botanist researching the coverage of Valeriana Tuberosa in the area, he finds that the death is not quite what it seemed. He also finds that he is not the only person there under false pretences. Supported by his two assistants and a variety of local people he unravels the mystery.

Set in 1949 and written in the gentler, wittier style of the period, this book was inspired by the works of Manning Coles and the inimitable and unjustly forgotten intelligence man Tommy Hambledon.

View "The Botanist" on Amazon UK


Author Cyrus Massoudi
Degree French MA (2004)
Book Land of the Turquoise Mountains: Journeys across Iran

For Cyrus Massoudi, a young British-born Iranian, the country his parents were forced to flee thirty years ago was a place wholly unknown to him. Wanting to make sense of his roots and piece together the divided, divisive and deeply contradictory puzzle that is contemporary Iran, he embarked on a series of journeys that spanned hundreds of miles and thousands of years.

Rich portrayals of Sufis and ageing aristocrats, smugglers and underground rock bands are all woven together with history, religion and mythology to form a unique portrait of contemporary Iranian society. And, running through the heart of the narrative, lies Massoudi's poignant personal quest; his struggle echoing that of Iran itself, as it fights to forge a cohesive modern identity.

Land of the Turquoise Mountains reveals a world beyond the propaganda-driven, media-fuelled image of fractious, flag-burning fundamentalism and provides a compelling glimpse both into the heart of a deeply misunderstood nation and into what it is to seek out and discover one's heritage.

View "Land of the Turquoise Mountains: Journeys Across Iran" on publisher's website


Author Daniel Pembrey
Degree Economic & Social History MA (1993)
Book The Candidate

Nick Thorneycroft is a British headhunter working in Luxembourg. His company asks him to recruit a high-flying executive for the company's Russian business. The best candidate turns out to be smart, beautiful... and mysterious.

Soon the effects of Russia’s political upheaval, and the arrival of an ex-girlfriend who won’t leave him alone, make Nick’s Luxembourg life increasingly perilous; worlds collide in this gripping, atmospheric tale.

View "The Candidate" on the author's website


Author Richard Watt
Degree Linguistics MA (1984)
Book Going Back

In 1978, Andrew Macintyre was 15 years old and on the greatest adventure of his life when he was drawn into the troubled life of Karla, the woman who would disturb his dreams for the next 25 years. He has buried the memory of what she did to him ever since, but an encounter with her brother reveals a shocking reality he can’t ignore.

He travels back to the village in Germany he only dimly remembers and the truth is slowly revealed to him; the truth about the boy he was, and about the man he might yet be. Clare, the girl he worshipped from afar, becomes the friend he had needed all along, and together they piece together what really happened. As everyone affected by that summer comes together, Andrew hopes that memories, like wounds, can heal.

View "Going Back" on the author's website

Please note

All of the further information links listed are the external websites of the book publisher, the author, or the bookseller. The University of Edinburgh is not responsible for the content and functionality of these sites.