Best of the Rest - Book Festival

Highlights of the Edinburgh International Book Festival

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This article is from 2009.

Emmanuel Jal

Given his life to date, the Sudanese ‘child warrior’ was never going to knock out a romantic comedy for his debut book. Instead, his War Child memoir tells the tale of a boy born into a bloody civil conflict who learned to handle an AK-47 that was taller than him.
15 Aug, 8.30pm, £9 (£7).

David Aaronovitch

Being one of the few people to stand up for the MPs during all this expenses brouhaha, the broadcaster and journalist is certainly one to revel in a contrary opinion. While many of us love a good old conspiracy theory, Aaronovitch damns us all for our shallow incompetence.
20 Aug, noon, £9 (£7).

Henning Mankell

Now firmly famous for his mean and moody Inspector Wallander novel series, the Swedish writer is hopping our way to also discuss his writing for children. He has said of his charming The Cat Who Liked Rain that ‘this might even be my most important book’.
22 Aug, 11.30am, £9 (£7); 23 Aug, 12.30pm, £4.

Sharon Olds

One of the Book Festival’s genuine coups this, as the poet born into a ‘hellfire Calvinist’ environment in San Francisco brings us her work which has been simultaneously praised and condemned for its intimate and confessional nature. Check out The Wellspring and The Father for evidence.
23 Aug, 7pm, £9 (£7).

Susie Orbach

With the passing of the King of Pop, new debates may rage about the value we put on the shell we are born with. In her latest book, Bodies, the psychotherapist who treated Princess Diana’s bulimia ponders just why we in the West are hell-bent on striving for some flawed notion of physical perfection.
29 Aug, 4.30pm, £9 (£7).

Mark Millar

There seems to be no such thing as an unfilmable comic these days and the Coatbridge writer has been making his fair share of cinematic hay out of this trend. Wanted 2 and Kick-Ass are on the way, while his current comics project, the American Jesus trilogy, is proving to be as controversial as you like.
29 Aug, 8pm, £9 (£7).

Douglas Coupland

Five unconnected individuals across the world are stung by bees that are supposed to be extinct before they are interrogated and then released as 15-minute-celebrities into a world driven entirely by the internet. Welcome to Generation A, the Canadian scribe’s latest futuristic tale of the here and now.
30 Aug, 8pm, £9 (£7).

All events at Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888.

This article is from 2009.

David Aaronovitch

SOCIETY AND THE MODERN WORLD We live in an age obsessed by the idea of conspiracy, from Pearl Harbour to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. Award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch probes and explodes major conspiracy theories, looks at why people believe them, and argues for a true…

Douglas Coupland

THE RSA EVENT Witty, clever and entertaining, Douglas Coupland's international bestselling novels walk the tightrope between optimism and paranoia. Generation A mirrors his debut Generation X, this time with a near-future world where bees are thought extinct, until five people in different countries are stung on the…

Emmanuel Jal

THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL EVENT An unmissable chance to meet Emmanuel Jal who was forced to become a child soldier with the rebel army in Sudan's bloody civil war, then was put into battle in Ethiopia. He finally escaped, told his story in War Child, and now spreads messages of peace and reconciliation with his unique…

Henning Mankell

Children's event: AGE 7 - 14 When discussing his wise and gentle children's novel The Cat Who Liked Rain, Henning Mankell said 'this might even be my most important book'. His delightful story was recently shortlisted for the Red House Book Award - the UK's only national prize voted for exclusively by children. Meet…

Henning Mankell

MEET THE AUTHOR Now known to British TV audiences through the Wallander series, Henning Mankell makes a long-awaited return to Charlotte Square Gardens with Italian Shoes, the characteristically bleak tale of a retired surgeon coming to terms with a tragic mishap from his earlier career. Join an international…

Mark Millar

Children's event: TEENS & ADULTS Mark Millar candidly discusses comics, graphic novels and Hollywood. His bestselling comic Kick-Ass is being made into a film this year produced by Brad Pitt; Wanted 2 is in development after the success of his blockbuster adaptation; and there is talk of a re-imagined Superman…

Sharon Olds

POETRY FROM AMERICA A real Book Festival treat. It is a great honour to welcome the award-winning American poet Sharon Olds to Edinburgh. A poet of passion, imagination and poetic power, her latest collection One Secret Thing, at once unforgiving and compassionate, humorous and angry, sees her complete her cycle of…

Susie Orbach

SOCIETY AND THE MODERN WORLD Might we be the last generation to inhabit bodies not routinely reconstructed by surgical enhancements? One of Britain's best-known therapists, Susie Orbach considers why we increasingly strive for physical perfection. What does it say about our sense of worth? In Bodies she raises all too…

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