Markus Zusak makes his Edinburgh International Book Festival debut

Markus Zusak

Best-selling Australian writer chats about his new book, Bridge of Clay, with author and presenter Janet Ellis

Success is a magical, fragile and occasionally immobilising thing. In the 13 years since the publication of Markus Zusak's stupendously popular The Book Thief (which spent over 10 years on The New York Times bestseller list), there was a worry that its triumph had thwarted any future work. With Bridge of Clay, Zusak proves that the lengthy wait was more than worth it.

This expansive, Australian family saga follows a band of five brothers left to fend for themselves following the death of their mother and abandonment of their father. In a world with no rules, the Dunbar boys find their own ways to fight, love and ultimately grow. One son, Clay, sets about building a bridge in search of something beautiful, and uncovers their father's secrets in the process.

Zusak first penned Bridge of Clay when he was 20 but knew then it was not yet the book it was supposed to be. The one we have now is the result of decades of adding, refining and taking away, until the structure and story was whole.

He'll chat about his ambitious family saga with author and presenter Janet Ellis at his first Edinburgh International Book Festival appearance.

Charlotte Square Gardens, 12 Aug, 5pm, £12 (£10).

Markus Zusak

Thirteen years since his multi-million bestseller The Book Thief, Markus Zusak joins us for his first Book Festival appearance with his much-anticipated follow-up, Bridge of Clay. In a conversation with author and presenter Janet Ellis, Zusak discusses his ambitious portrait of a family, introducing us to the Dunbar…