Top five books to revisit at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

This article is from 2014

Top 5 Books to Revisit at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Works by George Eliot, William S Burroughs, EM Forster, Mervyn Peak and Jane Austen reappraised

The Edinburgh International Book Festival’s reading workshops are some of its most popular events. Colin Robertson picks five of the best books being revisited at Charlotte Square this month.

Middlemarch, George Eliot (1874)

Set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch, Eliot’s complex novel has multiple plots with a sprawling cast of characters, with themes including the status of marriage, idealism, and religion. Rebecca Mead, author of a new work on the book and its author, chairs the open discussion.
Mon 18 Aug, 1pm, £15 (£12).

Naked Lunch, William Burroughs (1959)

One of the cornerstones of the Beat movement, Naked Lunch has long divided opinion between those who consider it a biting satirical masterpiece, and some who say it’s drug-addled gibberish. Writer and journalist Barry Miles chairs what is sure to be an animated discussion.
Wed 20 Aug, 11am, £15 (£12).

A Passage to India, EM Forster (1924)

Based on author Forster’s own experiences in India, when the country was still firmly under British colonial rule, the novel explores questions of social and cultural differences. South African playwright and novelist Damon Galgut – who this year released the fantastic Arctic Summer, a fictionalised take on Forster’s trips to India – oversees the workshop.
Wed 20 Aug, 1pm, £15 (£12).

Gormenghast, Mervyn Peak (1946–59)

Peake drew heavily on gothic and romance novels of the 19th century and planned to write more in this epic series before his premature death aged only 57. Novelist Marcus Sedgwick discusses the prodigious trilogy.
Thu 21 Aug, 11am, £15 (£12).

Mansfield Park, Jane Austen (1814)

Jane Austen’s epic tale of morality, status and class in 19th century England has been called her best and most controversial work, despite it arguably being her least popular. John Mullan, UCL English professor and 18th century literature specialist, discusses.
Sun 24 Aug, 11am, £15 (£12).

All events at Charlotte Square, 0845 373 5888.