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There's Nowhere To Hyde This February

City of LiteratureJekyll and Hyde . . . a gothic tale of good and evil, addiction and deception . . . you may think you know the tale - man drinks potion and changes into monster - but have you ever read the story? Well now's your chance. The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust are running their second One Book - One Edinburgh citywide reading campaign in February and the book will be the classic thriller Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

One Book - One Edinburgh aims to get as many of Edinburgh's citizens as possible reading this gripping story together, on their own initiative, or through libraries, schools and book groups. The campaign is supported by more than 30 partner organisations from across the city. There are three programmes of events - school, community and public - and they include graphic novel workshops with Cam Kennedy and Alan Grant, film screenings, discussions, readings, walking tours - The Gothic City, Deacon Brodie's Old Town and In Stevenson's Footsteps - as well as a specially commissioned live performance piece by Donald Smith, Jekyll and Hyde: A Specimen.

Ali Bowden, Manager of the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, said ‘We were completely blown away by the enthusiasm generated by the last campaign, and the response to Jekyll and Hyde has been brilliant. We're really pleased so many community and book groups have signed up to participate. This is a fantastic, dark tale, and it'll be a great read to share.'

10,000 free copies of a new easy-to-read paperback edition of the original text are to be given away around Edinburgh. The books include exclusive sketches by world-class graphic artist, Cam Kennedy, and an introduction by Ian Rankin, who says ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novel I return to year after year, always finding some new layer of possible meaning. As a foray into humankind's dark heart, it is without parallel.'

Free copies of the book will be distributed to schools in the city, to every public library and to partner organisations and from 22nd February members of the public can drop into their local library and claim a free copy while stocks last. All city libraries will stock copies of the book which can be borrowed for free once all the One Book - One Edinburgh copies have been claimed.

Cam Kennedy and Alan Grant, the ‘dream team' behind the bestselling Kidnapped graphic novel, have sparked four new graphic novel versions of the story, which will be published simultaneously, and go on sale on the 21st February. The editions include Gaelic, Scots and Modern Text versions.

Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, said ‘Following the outstanding success of the 2007 Kidnapped reading campaign, I'm sure that Jekyll and Hyde will similarly capture the imaginations of Edinburgh's readers, whether new to this Scottish literary masterpiece or not. Stevenson's profound study of human duality, while universal, is also deeply permeated with its author's fascination for the strange contrariness of his native Edinburgh, and this campaign is sure to bring both book and city to vivid life!'

George Grubb, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, said: ‘One Book - One Edinburgh 2008 is a unique opportunity for people across the city to explore this fantastic, gripping book. The campaign highlights the many benefits of reading, both in a group and as an individual. The Council is right behind this excellent campaign with libraries across the city taking part.'

The full programme of events, details of the campaign, where you can claim a free book and download teaching aids, worksheets and activities can be found on the City of Literature website (www.cityofliterature.com) or on the leaflet which will be distributed throughout the city from the end of this week.


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