WHAT do a Belgian pagoda and a red Hungarian hedgehog have in common? Well both appear in ‘Parapets and Labyrinths’ the latest book by Kirkcaldy scholar, novelist and poet, Dr Tom Hubbard.
The book, a companion volume to ‘The Chagall Winnocks’, is a poetic tour of Europe which takes in a variety of references including a French tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, the painters El Greco and variations on Dostoyevsky, Checkov and much more.
He said: “I returned to Grenoble - somewhat unexpectedly - to teach at the university again for a semester, and was able to check out old haunts and locate places I’d been curious about, aided this time by the net which of course wasn’t around in 1993 when I first worked there.
“If I didn’t travel I’d have nothing to write about - but travel also has the effect of making me appreciate Scotland, and specifically Fife, better: before, there was too much that I took for granted.”
In Fife, Tom was chairman of the Robert Henryson Society (2002-05) and the first chairman of the Fife Book Fair (2009-11).
He also edits the online magazine The Pathhead Review.
Currently, he has just completed the draft of his second novel called ‘The Lucky Charm of Major Bessop’, which is set in Fife but features a “crazy American” and a “rather creepy guy who abuses his considerable power and quotes Shakespeare at the most inopportune moments”.
‘Parapets and Labyrinths’ is available from Grace Note Publications.