Alumni Services

September 2013

Each month, we bring you a selection of new books written by Edinburgh alumni. This month's distinctly international selection includes a novel set in Zimbabwe, a study of Islam and feminism in Indonesia, a look at the role of the Merchant Navy in the Second World War, and a biography of an eminent Edinburgh graduate from Argentina.

Lloyd Johnson

Author Lloyd Johnson
Edinburgh Degree Veterinary Medicine 1993, 1999
Book Spindrift: Swepr from Zimbabwe

Lloyd Johnson, who was the Faculty Convenor on the Student’s Representative Council in 1992/1993, has published his latest novel, 'Spindrift'. It highlights the plight of a nation - Zimbabwe - and a childhood in war-torn Africa, land dispossessions and some wonderful (and not so wonderful) people. It is a story of resilience, compassion, humanity and at times inhumanity as people resort to different techniques (some good, some reprehensible) to survive. The book is presented as a novel but relies heavily on truth and real events.

Ian M Malcolm

Author Ian M Malcolm
Edinburgh Degree Arts 1960
Book Shipping Company Losses of the Second World War

During the Second World War, the Merchant Navy suffered a higher percentage loss than any of the British armed forces, but despite this extraordinary fact few people today are aware of it. In total, 33,000 merchant seamen died, while others were severely injured both physically and mentally. This book is an important volume attempting to dispel the ignorance, and for the first time brings together a wealth of information concerning ship losses, including such details as ships' names, their captains, the route they were lost on, date and positions when lost, loss of life, and many other particulars. A former wartime Merchant Navy man himself, Ian M Malcolm presents a compendium of shipping company losses that is staggering in scale. This work will be of great value to shipping enthusiasts and anyone interested in the war at sea.

Rachel Rinaldo

Author Rachel Rinaldo
Edinburgh Degree Junior Year Abroad 1993
Book Mobilizing Piety: Islam and Feminism in Indonesia

Islam and feminism are often thought of as incompatible. Through a vivid ethnography of Muslim and secular women activists in Jakarta, Indonesia, Rachel Rinaldo shows that this is not always the case. Examining a feminist NGO, Muslim women's organizations, and a Muslim political party, Rachel reveals that democratization and the Islamic revival in Indonesia are shaping new forms of personal and political agency for women. These unexpected kinds of agency draw on different approaches to interpreting religious texts and facilitate different repertoires of collective action - one oriented toward rights and equality, the other toward more public moral regulation.

As Islam becomes a primary source of meaning and identity in Indonesia, some women activists draw on Islam to argue for women's empowerment and equality, while others use Islam to advocate for a more Islamic nation.

Alumnus's daughter writes his biography

A new biography, written in Spanish, of renowned Argentine poet, lecturer and art critic Rafael Squirru, has been pubslished. It has been written by his daughter, Eloisa Squirry and is titled 'Tan Rafael Squirru!'

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Squirru was educated at Saint Andrew's Scot School and at the Jesuit El Salvador Secondary School. He graduated with a Law Degree at the University of Edinburgh in 1948.

After founding the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art in 1956, he went on to champion the cause of Argentine and Latin American art as Director of Cultural Affairs in the government of Arturo Frondizi. Named Cultural Director of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1963 with headquarters in Washington, D.C., he continued his task of promotion of North and Latin American culture until his resignation in 1970.

Back in Buenos Aires, where he now lives, he has supported culture in all its forms through an incessant activity of lectures in his own country and abroad, prologues for artists’ exhibitions and a constant output of articles.