Highlights of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011
- Brian Donaldson
- 8 July 2011
This article is from 2011.
Alasdair Gray's Fleck, Kristin Hersh and Heather Brooke among picks
An event with the writer of landmark works such as Lanark and Poor Things is exciting enough, but the Book Festival has cranked up the fever to 11 with another excellent first. In 2007 Gray wrote Fleck, an adaptation of Goethe's Faust and the closing event of this year's Book Festival features the first public reading of that play.
Narrated by Liz Lochhead, there will be performances from Alan Bissett, Ron Butlin, Janice Galloway, Rodge Glass, AL Kennedy, Will Self, Aonghas MacNeacail, Ian Rankin and the author himself. At the other end of the Festival, Gray opens proceedings with an event that looks at the close relationship between his literature and visual art output.
13 Aug, 11.30am, £10 (£8); 29 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).
Celebrating half a century of defending freedom of expression, AI continues to leave no stone unturned in fighting that good fight. This year, there will be readings of a Death Row prisoner, a look at the work of journalists plying their trade in peril and words from Gypsy and Roma communities.
13–28 Aug, 5.30pm, free tickets.
With a new novel due out next year, the Obanite gets our juices flowing with an early reading and a discussion on how he goes about creating his work.
13 Aug, 8.30pm, £10 (£8).
If there's any justice in the world, another Booker nomination will be whizzing its way towards the Inverness-born author for There but for the, a typically rich and insightful affair.
14 Aug, 11.30am, £10 (£8).
One of last year's true innovations makes a bold return with more literary and non-bookish performances and happenings from those appearing at Charlotte Square Gardens.
14–29 Aug, 9pm, free.
The Aussie comedian made a dramatic switch of career to become a sex therapist, and in Sex Life she has produced a vast work detailing how our erotic world shapes everything about us.
15 Aug, 4.30pm, £10 (£8).
There will be pathos in the air as the first anniversary of the Makar's death arrives but tempered with hope as the winner of this esteemed prize is announced.
17 Aug, 7pm, £10 (£8).
One of the key figures of the 80s/90s US indie music explosion, the Throwing Muses leader opened up this year about her mental health issues with Paradoxical Undressing.
17 Aug, 8.30pm, £10 (£8).
Our very own Renaissance Man discusses his literary output. If your ambition is to be a polymath, get along to this.
18 Aug, 4.30pm, £10 (£8).
His debut Submarine was made into a delightful movie by Richard IT Crowd Ayoade, but what fate awaits his upcoming second novel, Wild Abandon, the story of a young boy's fear of the apocalypse?
19 Aug, 10.15am, £10 (£8).
The Glasgow comics legend has put his own creative pen down for a bit to analyse the history of the superhero with Supergods, which looks at the icons as well as some of the forgotten characters.
20 Aug, 9.30pm, £10 (£8).
After a literary silence of 14 years, the author and performance poet returns with The Kid, the story of an orphan reaching manhood. Bidisha interviews the author whose first book was turned into the Oscar-winning Precious.
22 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).
Witty, sinister and in some ways actually quite informative, The Psychopath Test is the Cardiff-born journalist's latest trip into the weirder edges of society.
24 Aug, 4.30pm, £10 (£8).
Inspired by the true story of a bizarre heist, Sex on the Moon revolves around the planned theft of rocks from the Apollo missions. Given that his last book was turned into the Oscar-friendly The Social Network, a surefire hit awaits.
26 Aug, 8.30pm, £10 (£8).
Having put the MPs to the sword over their expenses, this intrepid journalist turns her attention towards the brave new world of web campaigning and the WikiLeaks phenomenon.
29 Aug, 3.30pm, £10 (£8).
All events at Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888.