Fiona Rintoul – writer, journalist, translator

Fiona’s blog


Bonjour tristesse

I write to you from Leipzig, a city I first visited 30 years ago when it lay behind the Iron Curtain. Back then, I needed a visa to visit,... Read More »


Herald agenda: grasp the thistle

Farewell London, hello Edinburgh has been a persistent refrain in the UK finance sector since the Brexit vote. Facing the loss of their European passport, London-based firms are looking... Read More »


Let her eat her words

Sad, isn’t it, that if fell to Rod Liddle, writing in the Spectator, to defend Joan Bakewell for her comments on anorexia made last weekend? Where are the liberal... Read More »


Nothing’s as certain as uncertainty

On November 9 it will be 25 years since the Berlin Wall fell. The Wall’s collapse was preceded by a couple of months of popular unrest in East... Read More »


Fashionable resistance – “I don’t wear their clothes”

Sometimes fictional characters are not fictional at all. They are clearly based on someone real. Even properly fictional characters usually have some element of a real person in them.... Read More »


Bothy and soul: coming to terms with the indyref

Last weekend, Dougie the Dug took my husband, Peter, and I to An Cladach bothy on the Sound of Islay for a couple of nights away from it all.... Read More »


Selfie is as selfie does

So selfie is Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, having, in the view of the esteemed lexographers, evolved into a mainstream term for self-portrait. Indeed. Only the other week... Read More »


What is this United Kingdom of which you speak?

Whichever side of the Scottish independence hilltop you’re on, it’s hard not to despair of the way the debate is being conducted. Quite a lot is being missed out,... Read More »


St Kilda: cleits and clichés

While out walking near Huisnis on the Isle of Harris on a particularly clear day last summer, my husband Pete and I caught sight of St Kilda – a... Read More »


W12 Tarbert to Hushinish

The tiny beach-fringed settlement of Hushinish on the north-west shore of the Isle of Harris is quite literally at the end of the road. The winding single-track B887 peters... Read More »


Leipzig book fair 2012

Enriching, democratic and mobbed: the Leipziger Buchmesse, which takes place in March in Leipzig’s spectacular glass and steel Messehalle, is not to be missed. I travelled there with a... Read More »