Programme highlights from the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival
Including Lauren Child, Julian Cope, Tony Parsons, Irvine Welsh and Jacqueline Wilson
This article is from 2014.
One of this year’s guest selectors, multi-award winning author and illustrator Lauren Child takes part in three events. The creator of Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean discusses her gadget-heavy Ruby Redfort Trilogy (9 Aug), before chatting about childhood memory with Judith Kerr (9 Aug) as part of the children’s programme. And on the final day of the adult line-up, she appears with Nina Stibbe to chew some fat over place and character.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 9 Aug, 10.30am, 1.30pm, £4.50; 25 Aug, 3.30pm, £10 (£8).
The cage-rattling music journo-turned-bestselling fiction writer takes a new direction as he delivers his compelling debut crime novel. In The Murder Bag, London detective Max Wolfe goes on the hunt for a serial killer who, to the delight of an online fanbase, is bumping off rich and powerful men.
Tony Parsons, Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 9 Aug, 7pm, £10 (£8).
Two years ago he made his novel-writing debut and now he’s back with Blood Whispers, wrapping a grim tale around the CIA, Serbian gangs and a feisty Glaswegian lawyer.
John Gordon Sinclair, Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 17 Aug, 8.30pm, £10 (£8).
The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins (2014): trademark filth, but this time in Miami rather than Scotland
Irvine Welsh, 22 Aug, 9.30pm
IDP2043 Part 2 with Denise Mina, Irvine Welsh and Friends, 23 Aug, 8.30pm.
The author talk about new book A Lovely Way to Burn, set in pandemic-stricken London, the first in her Plague Times trilogy.
Dialogue 1: Commonwealth (with Louise Welsh), 10 Aug, 7pm
Louise Welsh, 12 Aug, 6.45pm
Rockstar-turned-writer on his debut novel, One Three One, writing under the influence and why he's obsessed with Aberdeenshire
Julian Cope, Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 15 Aug, 9.30pm, £10 (£8).
Comedians are generally warned off doing material about cats and dogs, but in kids’ fiction, there’s no such thing as a hack subject. Paws and Whiskers is a collected anthology from the former Children’s Laureate of some top stories about felines and canines, featuring bits from Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens.
10 Aug, 11.30am, £4.50.
The popular broadcaster who earned plaudits by playing a version of himself in one episode of The Thick of It has just published A Series of Unrelated Events. This memoir-of-sorts self-deprecatingly paints him in a rather jokily bad light, while trawling through some darker events including the one that left him feeling he had betrayed the nation’s kiddiewinks.
14 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).
Crime fiction scribe, documentary maker, graphic novelist, cultural commentator. Is there anything this woman cannot do? Her latest tale, The Red Road, is a visceral read about a double murder and the teenage prostitute who committed it. Mina sets out a moral maze and gets her readers to tiptoe their way ever so gently through it.
15 Aug, 8.30pm, £10 (£8).
A firm favourite of the Book Festival, Morgan was arguably the country’s finest poet over the last 100 years. One of his legacies is a prize which rewards verse writers under the age of 30 and this event features the shortlisted writers giving a reading, with the winner being announced later. Jackie Kay will undertake the presenting duties.
16 Aug, 6.45pm, £10 (£8).
It’s somewhat ironic that Peace should have brought out Red or Dead last summer. His true-fiction tale of legendary Liverpool FC manager, Bill Shankly, was published just as that club embarked on their most successful league season for a couple of miserable decades (we’ll see how they get on without the services of the Uruguayan cannibal at the start of next term). Now the paperback is here and at just over 700 pages it is, literally and otherwise, a real heavyweight read.
16 Aug, 7pm, £10 (£8).
She’s written introductions to classic works by Walter Scott and Thomas Paine, and created the Lord John Grey series, but it’s for the Outlander books that she has made her name. And how galling will it be for some writers that Gabaldon started those books merely as a means of practising how to write.
18 Aug, 3pm, £10 (£8).
The UK-based US critic and author is best known to many as either the person who stood up to Nick Griffin on Question Time or the commentator who regularly talked sense on The Late Review (or whatever it happened to be called that month). Now she has the first part of her memoir out with A Parallel Life taking us up to her arrival in 1980s New York.
19 Aug, 3pm, £10 (£8).
One of the country’s most talented authors (and arguably one of its most neglected geniuses), the Obanite is back on top form with Their Lips Talk of Mischief. He’s moving slowly back in time here to the Thatcher era with the misadventures of a set of no-hopers in Acton.
21 Aug, 7pm, £10 (£8).
These events have got many people frothing with excitement as the Japanese author shows up with his new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, looming on the horizon. The former jazz bar owner has achieved great literary status for Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and his new work is unlikely to dampen that.
23 Aug, 3pm; 24 Aug, 6.30pm, £10 (£8).
With Daunderlust, the Glasgow-based writer and journalist has compiled some dispatches from a hidden Scotland, featuring the kind of places and people who don’t often get exposure in the media. From opera-singing chip shop owners to the wild ladies who turn up at the races, Ross uncovers sides to this nation that reveal much about who we are today.
25 Aug, 8.30pm, £7 (£5).
All events at Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888.