Reviews & features: Book Festival

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The 20 best shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

15 Jul 2014

Stuck to know what you must see this festival? Here's 20 suggestions from across the festivals

The James Plays. Edinburgh International Festival. Sofie Gråbøl, Blythe Duff and Jamie Sives are among the actors appearing in Rona Munro’s highly anticipated historical trilogy.

Edinburgh Festivals 2014: Game of Thrones-themed events

22 Jul 2014

George RR Martin, Joffrey, Lady Olenna Tyrell, Jory and Orell take on the capital this summer

Collapsing Horse Not in fact a reference to the nag which got chopped in half by the Mountain (his idea of a post-joust warm-down), but the Irish theatre company which features Jack Gleeson aka the late and little lamented King Joffrey. That’s him…

Behind the scenes at the Edinburgh festivals

15 Jul 2014

Insiders reveal the preparation put into one of the world's largest cultural events

Jamie Mitchell. Fruitmarket Gallery manager on getting art into the space. The process of an exhibition coming together can spread over a long time frame. Early on it’s about broad strokes, but the closer it gets, it’s more about specifics and we’ll be…

Interview: Julian Cope reveals unorthodox writing methods and musical influences ahead of 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival date

15 Jul 2014

Rockstar-turned-writer on debut novel, writing under the influence and his Aberdeenshire obsession

‘Write what you know’, goes the Mark Twain mantra for budding authors. So Julian Cope has written a debut novel about 80s and 90s rock stars, football tribalism and Neolithic portals in Sardinia. ‘If you’re going to be an author, people have really got…

Programme highlights from the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

17 Jul 2014

Including Lauren Child, Julian Cope, Tony Parsons, Irvine Welsh and Jacqueline Wilson

Lauren Child One of this year’s guest selectors, multi-award winning author and illustrator Lauren Child takes part in three events. The creator of Charlie and Lola, and Clarice Bean discusses her gadget-heavy Ruby Redfort Trilogy (9 Aug), before…

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Interview: Tony Parsons and John Gordon Sinclair on why they turned to crime writing

15 Jul 2014

The controversial journalist and Gregory's Girl actor on new found love of writing crime fiction

‘I do love a bit of blood and thunder,’ Tony Parsons confesses. ‘Gore doesn’t put me off. And I like to know the proper way to slit a throat. It’s not some drunk hacking and chopping away at a neck; there’s a clinical, far more efficient way to do it.…

Authors Helen FitzGerald and Sophie McKenzie explore dark territory at EIBF 2013

22 Aug 2013

The most recent books by the writers (The Cry and Close My Eyes respectively) explore parental fears

Here are two writers taking steps out of their comfort zones into darker territory, as Australian-born, Glasgow-based writer Helen FitzGerald explains: ‘I’ve never started with an inciting incident as terrible and as overwhelming as this before. It set…

Margaret Atwood set for Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Discussion of The Blind Assassin and her newest work MaddAdda

Margaret Atwood makes a welcome return to the Book Festival with MaddAddam, the concluding book in her disturbingly credible dystopian trilogy, begun in 2003 with the Booker-shortlisted Oryx and Crake. This is the first time one of her novels has…

Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Harding returns to the world of Tinker with Enon

22 Aug 2013

Harding will discuss the new adventures of Tinker's Charlie Crosby at the EIBF 2013

Paul Harding won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his debut novel Tinkers. This year he visits Edinburgh to discuss his latest book, Enon, which is narrated by Charlie Crosby, a relative of the dying protagonist in Tinkers. Charlie is also…

An interview with award winning author Sue Peebles

18 Aug 2013

The Arbroath-born author talks about success, psychology and inspiration

Sue Peebles was born in Arbroath in 1955 and spent some of her childhood in Detroit before returning to Scotland, where she now lives. Since graduating in psychology, she has worked as a social worker and university lecturer. Her debut novel, The Death…

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Profile: Louise Welsh and Irvine Welsh set for 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

15 Jul 2014

The two Scottish writers share more than a surname

Louise Welsh and Irvine Welsh are among modern Scotland’s top literary talents. If you’ve been paying close attention, you’ll also have spotted that they share a surname. Yasmin Sulaiman digs around for more astonishing coincidences between the pair

Top 5 literary heatwaves at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Jones and Chris Dolan deliver some of the hottest Book Fest events

Whether the sun is shining or it’s raining so much that yellow plastic ducks pop up in the puddles, things are getting damn steamy at Charlotte Square Gardens. Put extra ice in your drink and delve into these high-temperature books. Jonathan…

Fairest 2: Hidden Kingdom reimagines Rapunzel as an anime heroine

22 Aug 2013

Author Lauren Beukes and artist Inaki Miranda will discuss the comic at EIBF 2013

Rapunzel lets down her hair in Hidden Kingdom, the latest storyline in the Fairest comics which spun off from popular reinvented-fairytales series Fables. This version of the character isn’t just a girl who couldn’t get a hairdresser’s appointment, but…

Filmmaker and conservationist Ceri Levy to appear at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Levy will be discussing Extinct Boids, her project with Hunter S Thompson illustrator Ralph Steadman

In 2010, Ceri Levy – filmmaker for Blur and Gorillaz, and latterly a conservationist – approached Ralph Steadman about the prospect of creating a piece for Levy’s Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition in London. Steadman, whose Indian ink flourishes have…

Author and historian William Dalrymple sees history repeating itself in Afghanistan

20 Aug 2013

His book, The Return of a King, draws parallels between historic and modern conflicts in the country

Renowned Scottish historian and travel writer William Dalrymple invites us to consider the striking parallels between the current situation in Afghanistan and the first Anglo-Afghan War of 1839-42. His book on the subject, The Return of a King, earned…

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John Fardell, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison among the highlights at Stripped 2013

16 Aug 2013

The Edinburgh International Book Festival's events series celebrates the medium of graphic novels

John Fardell Edinburgh cartoonist and writer John Fardell is a favourite with two very different audiences. Many know him for his work on adults only comic Viz where he draws The Modern Parents and The Critics amongst others, skewering the pomposity of…

Edinburgh International Book Fest 2013 puts feminism under the spotlight

16 Aug 2013

Fifty Shades of Feminism and Where Have all the Brave Girls Gone? are 2 shows unscared of the F word

Sometimes, as Tammy Wynette sang, it’s hard to be a woman. And when every week sees a new online controversy about a broadcaster’s sexist remarks, a rape victim being blamed or a politician’s attempts to enforce 1950s sexual mores, it can feel to many…

James Robertson remembers Lockerbie in The Professor of Truth

16 Aug 2013

The author will attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013 to discuss his latest novel

It’s inevitable that Robertson’s latest novel, The Professor of Truth, about a man who loses his wife and child in a terrorist attack on a plane that crashes into the Scottish countryside, should make readers think about Lockerbie, and wonder if this is…

Vic Galloway presents Songs in the key of Fife

14 Aug 2013

TV & radio presenter shines spotlight on the Kingdom

Over the last couple of decades a musical story has been brewing in the East Neuk (literally, the ‘east corner’) of Fife, just the opposite side of the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh, and broadcaster Vic Galloway is the man to finally tell it. Partly…

Melvin Burgess & Jeremy Dyson

14 Aug 2013

Hauntings and hunger at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

One of the pleasures of EIBF’s many double-headers is the way they uncover connections between disparate writers. Melvin Burgess is best known for his award-winning YA social realist fiction, while Jeremy Dyson is the non-performing writer from The…

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Salman Rushdie and John Freeman at the 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival

13 Aug 2013

Conversation between authors on free speech and the clash between East and West

The conversation between Salman Rushdie and John Freeman, former editor of Granta at the Edinburgh International Book Festival played out to a packed audience interested to hear this man whose life and work reflects the massive culture clashes in our…

Damian Barr talks about memoir Maggie and Me at 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival

13 Aug 2013

Growing up gay in Conservative Scotland

Damian Barr always knew his memoir, Maggie and Me, with its more generous assessment of the late Margaret Thatcher who he says inspired him to get out and make something of himself, would provoke anger, especially in Scotland. But it’s the tough…

Metaphrog's John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs reflect on the recent rise of graphic literature

11 Aug 2013

The team are making an appearance at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013's Stripped strand

Graphic novels are enjoying something of a renaissance, as demonstrated by the Stripped strand of this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival which celebrates comics, graphic novels and the people who create them. Taking place on the last weekend…

Patrick Ness at the Edinburgh Book Festival

11 Aug 2013

More than just young adult fiction

In an interview last year, Patrick Ness spoke of the way his stories direct him rather than the other way round. Admitting that he never set out to write young adult fiction, Ness allows the ideas to suggest which direction his stories should go in.

Ceri Levy

11 Aug 2013

Wild flights in bird illustrations

In 2010, Ceri Levy – filmmaker for Blur and Gorillaz, and latterly a conservationist – approached Ralph Steadman about the prospect of creating a piece for Levy’s Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition in London. Steadman, whose Indian ink flourishes have…