Spy Week to pull back curtain on espionage

The twists and turns of espionage through our history are being examined and celebrated during a literary Spy Week at the University.

Screenings of classic spy films, talks by celebrated spy fiction writers and a discussion on the work of novelist Graham Greene - a former MI6 agent - are among the highlights. The series of events run from Monday 18 May to Saturday 23 May.

One of Scotland’s leading novelists, James Robertson, will give a talk on Truth and Lies in Real and Imagined Scotland. He will explore the themes of hidden agendas, double-lives and the deceits of power and authority in literature, and discuss writing fiction after the Lockerbie air disaster.

Spy Week

Find out more and book tickets on the Spy Week website.

Monday 18 May 2015, 12.00am

Saturday 23 May 2015, 12.00am

Spy Week

The place of secrecy

Scholars will also examine the place of secrecy in our social lives and the role of fiction during and after the Cold War.

Taking part will be Scots-born spy novelist Charles Cumming, who studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh and was awarded the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2012, and Dr Kieron O’Hara, an expert in privacy, trust, transparency and security in Web technologies.

Dr Laura Bradley will talk about theatre in East Germany under the Stasi secret police.

People with a passion for writing can sign up for a Publish Your Own Spy Fiction workshop by best-selling writer Tim Stevens, the author of 14 espionage thrillers including Ratcatcher, Severance Kill and Omega Dog.

Celebrated novelists

The contribution of Graham Greene to the genre of spy fiction will be discussed by literary scholars at an evening event in the National Library of Scotland. Greene is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, whose celebrated novels include Stamboul Train, Our Man in Havana, and The Ministry of Fear.

The week has been organised in partnership with the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh Filmhouse, and Blackwell’s Bookshop.

“The world of espionage has not only provided authors with some of their most memorable plots but spy fiction also confronts some of the ethical, cultural and historical events which have shaped the modern world. Spy Week is back to celebrate and explore that influence.

Professor Penny FieldingSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

The events are taking place at various venues in Edinburgh, and are mostly free but ticketed.