Inspirational journalist, writer and broadcaster John McCarthy kicks off the Imprint Book Festival this week.
John was kidnapped and held hostage in Lebanon for five years.
And he will discuss his unbelievable experiences while giving a talk on his latest book when he appears at the Burns Monument Centre on Monday, November 12 from 7.30pm until 9pm.
Transported as a young boy by his father’s tales of Palestine, John has always been drawn to the mystique of the Middle East.
Remarkably, his first-hand experience of its brutal conflicts, including being abducted, only strengthened his determination to return and explore its myriad complexities.
In the years since his ordeal, John has travelled through Israel and East Jerusalem, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Bedouin encampments of the Negev desert.
His intensely moving encounters with the inhabitants of this beautiful but tormented region lift the shrouds of its past to reveal the continuing tragedy of the Palestinians who remained in Israel after its formation in 1948 - and still dare to think of it as home.
John’s book, You Can’t Hide The Sun, weaves their vivid testimonies with his own experience of living under constant threat.
And in doing so it asks, how can humanity endure in the face of unimaginable oppression, and how can any of us thrive without a place of safety?
Also joining the festival line-up on Friday, November 16 at 7.30pm is Ayrshire’s finest Andrew O’Hagan.
The award-winning novelist and non-fiction author, Andrew was born in Glasgow in 1968 and grew up in Kilwinning.
His latest book ‘The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and his Friend Marilyn Monroe’ is a hilarious peek into the life of a complex canine hero. Maf was given to Marilyn Monroe by Frank Sinatra in 1960 and was very much a real historical figure, with his license and photographs sold at auction along with Marilyn’s other personal effects.
Through the eyes of Maf we’re provided with an insight into the life of Monroe herself, and a fascinating take on one of the most extraordinary periods of the twentieth century.
For full details of the event log on to www.imprintfestival.co.uk
Tickets for many events are already sold out, so book now at the Dick Institute or the Burns Monument Centre or by calling 01563 554300.