Edinburgh Book Festival 2012 day planner

This article is from 2012

Edinburgh Book Festival 2012 day planner

AL Kennedy, Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead at 2011 Edinburgh International Book Festival's Fleck event

Julia Donaldson, AC Grayling, AL Kennedy and Alexander McCall Smith amongst the authors to grace this year's book fest

Saturday 11th August

Julia Donaldson

The Glasgow-based Children’s Laureate kicks off the Book Festival with a performance-based show in which she brings life to stories such as The Gruffalo and Superworm. Hubbie Malcolm will be on hand to help things along.
10am, £4.50.

Mary Contini

The Valvona & Crolla owner is in the Gardens this year to talk sausage as she launches her new book, The Italian Sausage Bible.
Noon, £10 (£8).

Caroline Moorhead

The horrors of the Holocaust will never (and should never) leave us, and in A Train in Winter, Moorhead has spoken to Auschwitz survivors for a powerful biography.
3.30pm, £10 (£8).

Tom Watson

The scourge of Rupert Murdoch has made it his goal to have the standards of journalism brought under the public microscope and here he talks about a monumental couple of years for the media and for Britain.
8pm, £10 (£8).

Ewan Morrison

It’s been a busy old year for the Glasgow-based author with his excellent Tales from the Mall being joined on the shelves by a new novel, Close Your Eyes, which features a woman trying to discover the truth about the mother who abandoned her three decades earlier.
8.30pm, £10 (£8).

Sunday 12th August

AC Grayling

Having penned a ’secular bible’, Grayling is now unleashing his own university. Come and learn about his audacious work.
11.30am, £10 (£8).

Darren Shan

With props provided by the Edinburgh Dungeon, the author of the new Zom-B series talks about werewolves, vampires, demons and other things you check under the bed for at night.
1.30pm, £4.50.

Janice Galloway

Setting fiction to one aside, Galloway is making waves on the memoir front with All Made Up the splendid second instalment.

Prue Leith

In conversation with Sue MacGregor, the esteemed food writer chats about her life in and beyond the kitchen.

Ben Marcus & Colson Whitehead

Satirical horror is the name of the game here. If you dare, get a hold of MarcusThe Flame Alphabet and Whitehead’s Zone One before popping along.


The festival’s regular exploration of the areas where words, music and performance clash has an impressive roster during August including the likes of Nile Rodgers, a Literary Death Match and a showcase of Iceland’s writerly talent.
9pm, free.

Monday 13th August

AL Kennedy

The Dundee-born author may have branched out into the world of stand-up comedy in recent times, but here she’s back talking books and in particular the often difficult process of getting those words onto the page in the first place.

Nell Freudenberger & Krys Lee

Two of America’s brightest new literary talents get together with Lee chatting about her short story collection, Drifting House, and Freudenberger discussing her novel, The Newlyweds.
3pm, £7 (£5).

Ronald Reng

Reng’s A Life Too Short is a difficult but essential read for anyone who wants an insight into the troubled mind of sporting heroes fighting their inner demons. In German goalkeeper Robert Enke’s case, he tragically lost that battle.

Jess Richards & Sjón

Sjón played air guitar for the Sugarcubes and Richards grew up ‘too fast’ in Stranraer. Both are here to talk about their books which connect people to the sea.
7pm, £7 (£5).

Coraline with Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

It’s a whole decade since Neil Gaiman’s story of a lonely girl was published and here the festival’s Illustrator-in-Residence joins the author to discuss the special anniversary edition they have worked on together.
8pm, £7 (£5).

Tuesday 14th August

Ned Beauman & Nick Harkaway

With The Teleportation Incident, Beauman is continuing to prove that he has an idiosyncratic voice very much worth hearing, while Harkaway’s Angelmaker features sinister cults and shady lawyers.

James Gleick

He’s explored Chaos and Genius and now Gleick delves into The Information with a look at the pioneers behind the mass of data and images we are bombarded with on a daily basis.

Clive Stafford Smith

The apparently warped criminal justice system in the USA has kept British-born lawyer Stafford Smith busy for many years and in his new book, Injustice, we learn of yet further travesties in the Land of the Free.

Alexander McCall Smith

More entertaining business from the massively popular author as he does more of his kids stuff with Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill, as we flash back into Mma Ramotswe’s early life and first ever case.
3.30pm, £4.50.

Philip Hughes & Kathleen Jamie

The great outdoors is the area of intrigue for Hughes and Jamie. In Tracks, Hughes discusses his walks across Britain featuring rambles over Islay and Orkney, while Jamie’s Sightlines explores the weird edges of wildlife.

Tony Black & Gordon Ferris

The future of Scottish crime writing seems in pretty safe hands with this pair about. Modern Edinburgh is Black’s terrain while Ferris has penned successfully about post-war Glasgow.

Wednesday 15th August

Gillian Slovo

The acclaimed South African writer and commentator turns her attention back to the time of General Gordon and the tragic siege of Khartoum with An Honourable Man.

Daniel Tammet

Maths genius Tammet shares his world with us in an hour of entertaining equations and fascinating fractions.

John Fardell

The former List cartoonist discusses The Day Louis Got Eaten and offers children the opportunity to help him create a new story.
3.30pm, £4.50.

Raja Shehadeh

The Orwell Prizewinner discusses Palestine, politics and playwriting.


In this fast and furious event, performance poets go head to head and see who can tough it out the longest. It won’t be like those rap battles, though, so you won’t need to take shelter from all the rude words (we think).
8.30pm, £7 (£5).

Thursday 16th August

Samantha Harvey & Tim Lott

Family matters are at the heart of Harvey’s All is Song and Lott’s Under the Same Stars, particularly the tough bonds between brothers.

Claire Tomalin

Dickens’ passionate biographer celebrates his bicentenary with a new book which looks at various facets of his world which revealed a complex and contradictory character.

Patrick Ness

One of the country’s pioneers in the Young Adult fiction game is here to chat about A Monster Calls, his award-shortlisted new novel. 5pm, £7 (£5).


For a couple of years, the festival has commissioned short tales form an array of wonderful writers such as Roddy Doyle, Alan Warner and Yiyun Li and those endeavours have now been realised with the project being published. This launch event features appearances from key contributors.

Christopher Brookmyre

Always one of the popular draws of the festival, Brookmyre is here with his annual new novel, this one is entitled When the Devil Drives and features the uncovering of decades of vice in Glasgow.

All events at Charlotte Square Gardens and priced £10 (£8) unless stated.

Vivian French

Vivian French is the author of multiple children's books including The Tales From The Five Kingdoms, Stargirl Academy, the Knight in Training series and Aesop’s Funky Fables.

Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales

Scamp Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre. Brand new show from award-winning Scamp Theatre (Stick Man). Adapted from the bestselling books by Children's Laureate, Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo). A magical collection of Julia Donaldson's most popular titles including Tiddler…

Darren Shan

Festival favourite Darren Shan returns to talk vampires, werewolves, demons and all the things you fear may be lurking out there in the dark. He’ll feature all your favourite books but excitingly and exclusively he will reveal his new series – Zom-B. This is Darren’s thirteenth year at the Book Festival – are you brave…

Ewan Morrison: Shopping Channeled

He caused a stir last August with his ‘end of books’ chat, but what will Ewan Morrison have up his sleeve this year? Tales from the Mall is a mash-up of fact, fiction, essays and multi-format media that tells of the rise of the shopping mall, an iconic symbol of our age. These stories feature some true-life tales of those…

Tim Parks & Alex Preston: The Power Of Belief

While spending time at meditation retreats, Tim Parks met a group of 'modern day monks and nuns' who volunteer to serve in the retreats' kitchens. His new novel The Server plays out a love story against this unusual backdrop. Alex Preston, whose debut novel won our Readers' First Book Award in 2010, returns to discuss The…

Andrew Keen with Ewan Morrison: The Revolution Will Be Digitised

In an event chaired by Ewan Morrison, Andrew Keen presents today’s social media revolution as the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution. The author of Digital Vertigo isn’t wholly upbeat about this seismic shift, arguing that the more electronically connected we have become, the lonelier…

Unbound: Stories, Music And Literary High Jinks

A literary experience like no other. Anything goes: storytelling, music, performance, poetry, stand-up – it’s a raw, surprising, sometimes emotional ride. Come with an open mind! Part of Edinburgh International Book Festival

A C Grayling: Thinking Anew: A Mind For The 21st Century

Since he published his 'secular bible', The Good Book, last year A C Grayling has been busy launching his own university. It's an audacious idea that has brought many plaudits as well as controversy. In this unmissable event Grayling outlines his views on the moral and philosophical beliefs underpinning a good university…

Ben Marcus & Colson Whitehead: Unspeakable Horror With Satirical Tales

Humans are fighting back against a zombie outbreak in Colson Whitehead’s Zone One with ordinary guy Mark Spitz part of an armed unit patrolling the New York streets. As we dip into Spitz’s past life, he wonders whether a doomsday scenario is about to unfold. Ben Marcus’ innovative The Flame Alphabet zooms in on a virus…

Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrator Lydia Monks have collaborated on a number of fantastic picture books such as What the Ladybird Heard, The Princess and the Wizard and Sharing a Shell. Come and meet favourite characters, see how Lydia draws her bold and vibrant pictures and have the opportunity to join…

Tom Watson: Where Journalism Went Off The Rails

The Labour MP Tom Watson has been on a mission for the past two years to uncover the truth about phone hacking. Watson's grilling of the founder of the News Corp empire in a Commons Select Committee was one of last year's major political talking points. In this keynote event he discusses Dial M for Murdoch, his new book…

Charles Fernyhough & Ben Marcus: Fact And Fiction On Course To The Future

From Gulliver’s Travels to 1984, dystopian visions have shaped literary fiction. Why do these flights of fancy influence our reality? How does science respond to these futuristic imaginings? Ben Marcus, author of the remarkable The Flame Alphabet, discusses the interplay of science and fiction as it shapes our future with…

Julia Donaldson

Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson sings and dances her way through her fabulous picture books from brand new stories such as Superworm to everybody’s favourite – The Gruffalo! Get ready to join in with Julia and her cast, including husband Malcolm and fellow writer Moira Munro. Ages 5–9. Part of Edinburgh International…

Impro-Slam: Packing A Punch With Poetry

Created in partnership with Masters students for their Festival Events Tourism course at Edinburgh Napier University, Impro-Slam promises to be a night of the unexpected, pitting performance poets against each other to inspire, entertain and improvise before the audience and judges. Four poets, three rounds but there can…

Prue Leith: Relishing Life And Work In The Information Age

She may be best known for her career as a restaurateur and food writer, but Prue Leith has enjoyed a varied life beyond the kitchen, applying her business skills on the boards of Safeway and Orient Express Hotels among many others. In this event she discusses her book, Relish, and her recipe for survival in life and…

Caroline Moorehead: The Resistance Women Who Survived Auschwitz

What was life like for the women who were sent to the death camps of Nazi Germany? We are honoured to welcome the biographer Caroline Moorhead to launch her astonishing new book, A Train in Winter. Through interviews with women of the resistance who survived their ordeal in Auschwitz, Moorehead has created a moving…

Janice Galloway: Teen Spirit

The Ayrshire author has taken time out of her fictional endeavours to pen the latest instalment of her memoir. All Made Up takes the story into her teenage years and focuses on the morals and ambitions of one small town through the stories of three generations of women. Galloway was struggling to make sense of the changes…

Mary Contini: Sizzling Stories From The Queen Of Culinary Edinburgh

Valvona & Crolla owner Mary Contini's previous books took the form of letters to her daughters. As well as being touching memoirs, they just happened to be excellent cookery books. Now, Contini takes on the great Italian sausage, and she joins us today in an entertaining and wide-ranging event which begins with the…

Mary Contini

Author Mary Contini talks about her latest book, revealing the secret to successful cooking with the many varieties of Italian sausage. Part of Fringe by the Sea.

Cultural Enterprise Office: The Digital Publishing Landscape

Exploring the impact of digital publishing on writers and publishers, and new ways of drawing a profit from copyright. Part of Turing Festival.

Elsewhere on the web