On the centenary of women’s suffrage novelist, playwright and award winning journalist Ajay Close comes to BIG LIT in Gatehouse of Fleet with her novel about Scottish suffragettes who inspired ‘A Petrol Scented Spring’- ‘a riveting novel of repression, jealousy and love, and the struggle for women’s emancipation’.
‘I’ve always wanted to write something about the most militant suffragettes’, says the author ‘We celebrate their heroism, glossing over the fact that they were terrorists, ready to fight with any weapon to hand: fire, bombs, even their own bodies.’
In Scotland a small group of women caused millions of pounds worth of damage in today’s terms. They targeted property, and were lucky there was no human collateral damage. Arabella Scott set fire to a racecourse stand in Kelso, Frances Gordon to a mansion in Rutherglen, Maude Edwards stuck a hatchet in the King’s portrait in Edinburgh, Fanny Parker tried to blow up Rabbie Burns’ cottage in Alloway!
‘Apart from a few minor characters, everyone in the book is based on a real person’ says Ajay.
‘ We are delighted Ajay is free to come’ says Chrys Salt, Artistic Director of The Festival, ‘ She’ll make a fantastic contribution to this year’s BIG LIT offering which includes award winning theatre, a celebration of the end of WW1, a tribute to Bob Dylan and another ingenious installation from artist Bill Barlow’.
Ajay Close will be appearing at The Mill on The Fleet, on Friday April 20th at 3.00pm More information about BIG LIT can be found on www.biglit.org. Tickets at The Franca Bruno Shop Tel: 07803 228497 / 07707 686109