Working Lunch - Kirstin Innes

Scabby Queen

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Kirstin Innes introduces her new novel, Scabby Queen, about Glasgow chanteuse Clio Campbell, who, following her suicide three days before her 51st birthday, posthumously becomes a heroine for politically chaotic times. Stretching over five decades, taking in the miners’ strikes to Brexit and beyond; hopping between a tiny Scottish island, a Brixton anarchist squat, the bloody Genoa G8 protests, the poll tax riots and Top of the Pops, Scabby Queen is a portrait of a woman who refuses to compromise, told by her friends and lovers, enemies and fans. As word spreads of what Clio has done, half a century of memories, of pain and of joy are wrenched to the surface. Those who loved her, those who hated her, and those that felt both ways at once, are forced to ask one question: Who was Clio Campbell?  

Gripping and moving. A literary triumph” – Nicola Sturgeon “A fat firecracker of a book” – Janice Galloway 

About the author: Kirstin Innes is a Scottish journalist and novelist based in Glasgow. Her debut novel, Fishnet, won The Guardian’s Not The Booker prize in 2015, and Scabby Queen has been long-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize.

In conversation with Lee Randall