Edinburgh International Book Festival 2016: events worth booking

It's hard to Imagine Better than Jonathan Safran Foer, Eimear McBride, Jackie Kay and Nicola Sturgeon

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Edinburgh International Book Festival 2016: events worth booking

Eimear McBride / JMA Photography

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has launched its programme for 2016, and it's a corker. The theme this year is 'Imagine Better', and it's based on the power of writers to imagine better worlds. Here, we've picked some events that we're particularly excited about, but it's not been an easy task, since there are hundreds of events, with over 800 writers, poets, illustrators, politicians, journalists, historians, scientists, philosophers and playwrights from 55 countries. Phew.

Jonathan Safran Foer
The bestselling US author of Everything is Illuminated launches his first novel in 11 years.
Sun 28 Aug, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, 8.15pm

Han Kang
Appearance from South Korean writer Han Kang, whose debut novel The Vegetarian recently won the Man Booker International Prize.
Wed 17 Aug, Writers' Retreat, 5pm

Philippa Gregory
The historical fiction writer chats about her new book, Three Sisters, Three Queens, which tells the story of Henry VIII’s older sister, Margaret Tudor.
Mon 15 Aug, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, 11.15am

Jackie Kay with Nicola Sturgeon
The acclaimed poet chats with the First Minister of Scotland about the poems Kay is producing in her role as Makar, and Sturgeon’s Reading Challenge.
Thu 18 Aug, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, 3.15pm

Eimear McBride
The Irish novelist launches her much-awaited second novel, The Lesser Bohemians. Her first book A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing was hailed as one of the most exciting breakthrough debut novels of recent years.
Sun 14 Aug, Garden Theatre, 4pm

Thomas Keneally
The writer behind the Booker Prize-winning novel Schindler's Ark talks about his latest novel and rich writing career.
Tue 16 Aug, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, 5pm

The Edinburgh international Book Festival, Sat 13–Mon 29 Aug, Various Venues

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…

Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is both a recognised authority on women’s history and a highly acclaimed bestselling novelist. Fans will be thrilled that her brand new novel, Three Sisters, Three Queens, tells the story of Henry VIII’s older sister Margaret Tudor. This formidable woman who ruled Scotland and raised a King – her son was…

Winning Fiction in Translation

Fiction in translation has become one of the surprise 21st century success stories for British publishing. For this event we are thrilled to welcome back the brilliant young South Korean writer Han Kang, whose debut novel The Vegetarian (translated by Deborah Smith) has just won this year’s new-look Man Booker…

Eimear McBride

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing was one of the most exciting breakthrough debut novels of recent years. Irish novelist Eimear McBride’s second book emphatically lives up to expectations and confirms her as a writer of international significance. The Lesser Bohemians tells the memorable story of a young woman who arrives in…

Jonathan Safran Foer

The bestselling US author of Everything is Illuminated launches his first novel in 11 years. Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am is the story of a fracturing New York family, set against the backdrop of a much wider catastrophe as an earthquake engulfs the Middle East, sparking a pan-Arab invasion of Israel. Clever…

Thomas Keneally

The author of the 1982 Booker Prize-winning novel Schindler's Ark (later made into the film Schindler's List) has a glorious track record for historical fiction that’s powerfully relevant to modern concerns. In Napoleon’s Last Island Thomas Keneally reimagines an encounter between the exiled Bonaparte and a family living…

Jackie Kay with Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland's Makar, Jackie Kay, has a proud history of writing poetry about believable characters; ordinary people like herself. Her poems are genuine, open and often deeply personal. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has long been an admirer of Kay’s work, as well as an advocate of the importance of reading.

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