Programme highlights from the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

Including Lauren Child, Julian Cope, Tony Parsons, Irvine Welsh and Jacqueline Wilson

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This article is from 2014.

Programme highlights from the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

David Peace

Lauren Child

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).

Tony Parsons

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).

John Gordon Sinclair

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).

Irvine Welsh

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.

Louise Welsh

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

Julian Cope

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).

Jacqueline Wilson

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.

Richard Bacon

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).

Denise Mina

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).

Edwin Morgan Poetry Award

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).

David Peace

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).

Diana Gabaldon

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).

Bonnie Greer

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).

Alan Warner

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).

Haruki Murakami

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).

Peter Ross

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.

This article is from 2014.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

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

IDP2043 Part 1 with Denise Mina, Pat Mills & Friends

The graphic novel is ideally placed to be subversive and revelatory. The dystopian genre evolved to explore the idea of how individuals would cope with oppressive governments or post-apocalyptic worlds. One year on from our Stripped programme, which celebrated graphic novels and comics, we’ve been working with Freight…

Haruki Murakami

When it first appeared in English in 1997, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle instantly established Haruki Murakami as a major figure in world literature. Involving a trademark mix of Tokyo urban landscapes and dream imagery, the novel remains one of the Japanese writer’s most brilliant literary achievements. Murakami discusses…

Lauren Child & Judith Kerr

Lauren Child and Judith Kerr have created some of the most memorable and recognisable children's book characters, from Mog and the Tiger Who Came to Tea to Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean. Both authors evoke a sense of childhood and place through their writing and illustration that triggers an immediate emotional…

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson’s gift for writing has won her legions of fans. This year she introduces Paws and Whiskers, a special collection of stories about cats and dogs. It includes Leonie's Pet Cat, a brand new story by Jacqueline, plus extracts from treasured classics and personal pieces from well known writers about their own…

Richard Bacon

If his book is true, and we have no reason to believe otherwise, Richard Bacon has made an awful lot of errors in his life. In A Series of Unrelated Events, we hear how he ruined dinner parties, was stitched up by his best friend, and ‘let down all the children of Great Britain’. Join him to find out how he emerged in one…

Denise Mina

With her latest novel The Red Road, Denise Mina moves into complex moral territory. When the perpetrator of a shocking double murder gives up without a fight, justice appears to have been done. But the murderer turns out to be a 14 year old prostitute, and one of the murdered men is a pimp who hired her out to service…

Edwin Morgan Poetry Award

Edwin Morgan was Scotland’s greatest poet of the 20th century. At Morgan’s own request, funds from his estate have been put towards a major new prize for poets in Scotland under the age of 30. In today’s event, the poets shortlisted for the first ever award give readings and the inaugural winner is announced. Join judges…

David Peace

Yorkshire-born David Peace’s writing took an exciting turn with GB84, his ambitious novelisation of events during the miners’ strike. Later, Peace turned to football, first with The Damned United, a re-imagining of Brian Clough’s brief tenure at Leeds United, and then with Red or Dead, based on Liverpool manager Bill…

Diana Gabaldon: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

Gabaldon discusses the latest instalment in her hugely popular Outlander series.

Bonnie Greer

Best known in the UK as a dispassionate commentator on Newsnight Review and Question Time, even when sitting beside the leader of the BNP, Bonnie Greer has now unveiled the first volume of her memoirs, A Parallel Life. In this event she talks to Ruth Wishart about her tough upbringing and how it feels to be the key…

Alan Warner

A new Alan Warner novel is always cause for celebration. The man who wrote The Sopranos, Morvern Callar and prize-winning The Deadman’s Pedal returns to Edinburgh to launch Their Lips Talk of Mischief. Set in 1980s London, it centres on two struggling writers penning calendar captions and trashy novels in an effort to eke…

Peter Ross

Daunderlust is a witty, warm and insightful debut collection of articles from the multi award-winning journalist Peter Ross. His features for Scotland on Sunday take him on an endlessly fascinating journey into some lesser-known corners of the nation where he meets an array of colourful characters, from painters on the…

Julian Cope

One of contemporary rock and pop’s true mavericks and the former leader of The Teardrop Explodes.

IDP2043 Part 2 with Denise Mina, Irvine Welsh & Friends

The graphic novel is ideally placed to be subversive and revelatory. The dystopian genre evolved to explore the idea of how individuals would cope with oppressive governments or post-apocalyptic worlds. One year on from our Stripped programme, which celebrated graphic novels and comics, we’ve been working with Freight…

Irvine Welsh

Funny, dirty and as offensive as ever, Irvine Welsh is back with another novel that exuberantly bares its backside to good taste. The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins is about two women who live in a Florida obsessed with body image and real estate. One is a foul-mouthed fitness trainer and the other an overweight client with…

Louise Welsh

Although it was a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, A Lovely Way to Burn might not lull you into an altogether restful slumber. The first publication in Louise Welsh’s Plague Times Trilogy moves from a mysterious fatality to the cruel ‘sweats’ pandemic that’s spreading death through modern London. The celebrated Glasgow author…

Tony Parsons

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 takes to…

John Gordon Sinclair

With his second crime novel, John Gordon Sinclair continues to put distance between himself and Gregory’s Girl, the film that made his name. 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. Hear how…

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