Edinburgh International Book Festival 2012 highlights

  • The List
  • 18 July 2012

This article is from 2012

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2012 highlights

David Walliams, Jeremy Paxman and Alistair Darling among guests

Funnyman David Walliams, interviewer Jeremy Paxman and former Chancellor Alistair Darling are just some of the well known names set to headline this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. The capital’s annual literary bonanza will welcome literati from across the spectrum for a jam-packed programme of events.

Comedian, channel swimmer and recent reality TV judge David Walliams, who has recently added children’s author to his list of talents, waxes lyrical about his new series of books, Gangsta Granny; fiery Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman appears to talk about his written history of the British Empire, an accompaniment to his TV series, Empire.

The world of politics is well represented with Darling and former leader of the British Liberal Democrat party Paddy Ashdown joining established authors in a series of discussions on Britain Today. Meanwhile ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown will deliver the National Library of Scotland’s Donald Dewar Lecture and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond will discuss his life beyond politics and literary tastes with Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan.

In the world of fiction, the festival will provide a launchpad for Booker Prize winner James Kelman’s latest novel Mo Said She was Quirky, as well as new work from McEwan, Will Self and Pat Barker. A series of debates will encourage festival goers to re-think the world around them, with subjects such as Scottish independence, market regulation, and the way food is viewed all up for discussion.

Kids can enjoy a programme of lighter topics from Doctor Who to aliens and zombies, and children’s author Jacqueline Wilson will be on hand to give young audiences a sneak-peek of her re-interpretation of the classic Five Children and It.

New writing is well represented throughout the programme, while fans of fantastically eclectic late night literary events should look no further than the free Unbound programme.

With over 800 authors, representing 45 countries, speaking at over 750 events this year, festival director Nick Barley said of the line-up: ‘We are delighted to showcase some of the best Scottish writing, as well as welcoming some extraordinary literary talent from around the world to help us rethink aspects of society that affect our everyday lives.’

The Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from Sat 11–Mon 27 Aug

Edinburgh International Book Festival

The world’s largest public celebration of the written word takes place in the first UNESCO City of Literature at the Edinburgh College of Art. As well as leading Scottish and international authors, the varied programme always manages to cover poets, politicians, historians, journalists and children's authors.

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