14 of the best events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

This article is from 2015

14 of the best events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Shami Chakrabarti

The best bits at the Book Festival, from the First Minister to a civil rights legend

Louise Stern
The author of Ismael and His Sisters discusses language, growing up in a deaf community and creative ways of presenting her writing.
30 Aug, 7pm, £7 (£5).

Kate Tempest
As the Mercury nominee heads to the book festival, fellow spoken word artist Luke Wright tells us why she's so impressive.
18 Aug, 8.15pm, £10 (£8).

Catch this east London graffiti artist in Edinburgh. His work has been displayed everywhere from closed school buildings in Japan to condemned tower blocks in west London, and New York's Union Square to Norway's remote islands.
29 Aug (with Ryan Gattis), 8.45pm, £7 (£5).

Alan Cumming
Aberfeldy’s most famous son pops into the Book Festival to chat to Ian Rankin.
29 Aug, 8.15pm, £10 (£8).

Marilynne Robinson
In Lennie Goodings’ Guest Selector strand, the prize-winning Idaho author helps open up this year’s proceedings. Robinson’s Gilead won the Pulitzer in 2005 while four years later Home scooped the Orange. Other books such as Housekeeping and Lila are both fantastic literary achievements all of their own.
15 Aug, 11.45am, £10 (£8).

Ali Smith
Our favourite Cambridge-based Invernesian author (OK, maybe that’s not such a busy field) just keeps on improving with each book. And when she finally thinks she can put the last one to bed, she only goes and gets another award: this time, Smith recently added the Baileys prize to the several gongs she’s received for How to Be Both. Here, she delivers The Pen / HG Wells Lecture and chats about that novel with Stuart Kelly.
15 Aug, 2.15pm, 16 Aug; 11.45am, £10 (£8).

Frank Cottrell Boyce
Our pick of the children’s programme is aimed at the 9-12 age bracket as the man who has worked with Danny Boyle, Alex Cox and Michael Winterbottom lets us tuck into The Astounding Broccoli Boy. This is the tale of a lad whose skin has inexplicably turned bright green.
16 Aug, 5.45pm, £4.50.

Shami Chakrabarti
The director of Liberty is not a fan of the UK government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and she’ll no doubt be using her appearance here to state the case for its retention. Kate Mosse is in the chair for this one.
19 Aug, 3.15pm, £10 (£8).

George the Poet
One of the young breed of conscience-led poets, George Mpanga is a participant in Babble On, the festival’s spoken-word strand. His debut collection, Search Party, will be out in force today.
21 Aug, 8.15pm, £10 (£8).

Jesse Jackson
It’s undoubtedly a spectacular coup to get the good reverend on board, and his presence in Edinburgh will surely heighten the festival’s global profile. This heavyweight civil rights activist has plenty stories to enlighten us with.
22 Aug, 8.15pm, £10 (£8).

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown & Bidisha
Tackling the issue of identity, these two respected commentators will be delving into Britain’s immigrant stories and wondering just what it takes for someone to leave everything behind to seek a better life far away from home.
25 Aug, 2.15pm, £10 (£8).

Val McDermid with Nicola Sturgeon
A top-notch crime writer meets one of her biggest fans, the nation’s leader and someone whose international profile has shot up over the past few months. Politics will be put to one side today, though, as the Fife scribe gets to talk books with the First Minister.
26 Aug, 6.45pm, £10 (£8).

William McIlvanney
The readily acknowledged creator of Tartan Noir, this Kilmarnock lad will be musing here over ordinary people’s lives and the majesty that can exist within them. Ruth Wishart is fielding this event.
27 Aug, 6.45pm, £10 (£8).

Steve Bell
As part of Stripped 2015, the bearded cartoonist will be recalling the general election that has just gone by and the work he created in this most curious of campaigning years. How did the 2015 vintage compare to the battles of yore?
28 Aug, 5pm, £10 (£8).

All events at Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888.