Best events to see at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Including Jonathan Safran Foer, Irvine Welsh, Erica Jong, Lionel Shriver, and more

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Best events to see at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Jonathan Safran Foer / credit: Jeff Mermelstein

The calming environs of Charlotte Square Gardens will reverberate to the sound of Booker winners, heavyweight American authors and some local legends as Edinburgh International Book Festival graces the city again with an all-star lineup. Here's some of our top picks from the festival …

Ali Smith
The mercurial Invernesian helps get the Book Festival off to a flying start with a discussion of her latest work, as she launches a new series of four inter-linked novels.
13 Aug, 11.45am, £12 (£10).

Kate Tempest
A literal storm descends onto Charlotte Square as the playwright and poet unleashes her debut novel, The Bricks That Built the Houses, a London tale of drugs, desire and belonging.
13 Aug, 8.15pm, £12 (£10).

Howard Jacobson
One of many Shakespeare-related events doing the rounds all over the city in August, the Booker Prize winner discusses Shylock Is My Name, his reimagined slice of Merchant of Venice.
17 Aug, 5pm, £12 (£10).

Raja Alem & Abir Mukherjee
An intriguing double bill with Alem, the winner of 2011's International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and the Glasgow-raised Mukherjee whose novel A Rising Man is set in Raj-era Calcutta.
17 Aug, 8.30pm, £8 (£6).

Lionel Shriver
The author of We Need to Talk About Kevin is dipping into the near-future for her new novel, The Mandibles, the tale of an American family being pushed to the edge as their nation steps towards another financial meltdown.
20 Aug, 11.45am, £12 (£10).

Malorie Blackman Goes Intergalactic
For ages 12 and above, hugely popular children's author Malorie Blackman introduces her new novel. With its shades of Othello, her Chasing the Stars features an intergalactic love affair which doesn't leave everyone best pleased.
20 Aug, 3.45pm, £5.

James Kelman Dirt Road
The only Scot to have won the Booker Prize is in town with his new novel. Dirt Road taps into Kelman's own experiences of travelling around America in his teens as he depicts a grieving Scottish father and son on a musical journey through the South.
21 Aug, 3.15pm, £12 (£10).

Erica Jong
Fear of Flying turned Erica Jong into a 1970s literary superstar. Now, she's giving us Fear of Dying, the story of a 60-year-old woman who is haunted by the shadow of death which seems to be looming ever nearer.
24 Aug, 5pm, £12 (£10).

Irvine Welsh
He's been clocked in town recently on the set of Trainspotting 2, and in this event Welsh revisits that tale's most notorious character. He's even given Begbie a new lease of life in The Blade Artist, a spin-off for this 'small psycho'.
27 Aug, 9.45pm, £12 (£10).

Jonathan Safran Foer
On the EIBF's penultimate day, it gets the heavyweight contemporary US novelist that it deserves. In Here I Am, his first novel for over a decade, Safran Foer imagines an escalation to the Middle East conflict seen through the perspective of a battling New York family.
28 Aug, 8.15pm, £12 (£10).

All events at Charlotte Square Gardens.

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