Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

The Pharmacist: A searing debut by Rachelle Atalla

Featured Speakers

Rachelle Atalla & Kirstin Innes

A compulsive, claustrophobic but wonderfully compassionate read, beautifully written and set within a brilliantly realised world. Rachelle Atalla is a major talent and I can't wait to see where her mind goes next' KIRSTIN INNES, AUTHOR OF SCABBY QUEEN

'An unflinching portrayal of what we might all be capable of, Atalla's stunning debut is essential reading for our times' HELEN SEDGWICK

There are few things that get the Lighthouse booksellers more hyped than tremendous feminist fiction; so we are eagerly counting the days til we can launch Rachelle Atalla's The Pharmacist into the world and finally be able to talk to everyone about it!!

Join us to celebrate a tightly drawn, incredibly cinematic novel by one of the freshest voices in contemporary Scottish literature. And what, you ask, is The Pharmacist all about? Allow us to set the scene...


In the end, very few people made it to the bunker. Now they wait there for the outside world to heal.

Wolfe is one of the lucky ones. She's safe and employed as the bunker's pharmacist, doling out medicine under the watchful eye of their increasingly erratic and paranoid leader.

BUT IS IT THE PLACE OF GREATEST DANGER? How much more is Wolfe willing to give to stay alive?

Our host is Kirstin Innes, and our writer is:

Rachelle Atalla is Scottish-Egyptian novelist, short story writer and screenwriter based in Glasgow. The Pharmacist is her debut, and her second novel Livestock is scheduled for 2023. Rachelle has been selected to participate in the 2021 Young Film Foundation Skye residency programme and will be working with BBC Film on her first feature length screenplay. Her short stories have been published widely in literary anthologies and she co-edits New Writing Scotland. Rachelle completed a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen in 2014, and in 2015 was the recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.

'Atalla's speculative literary thriller debut draws you in with its mounting sense of tension, disquiet and desperation' CULTUREFLY

This event will take place in the bookshop garden - there are a few steps for access and we recommend dressing warmly! Full access details in our FAQ page & to follow in pre event checklist on the day!

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