Edinburgh International Book Festival programme announced

This article is from 2008

Literary garden party to features a record 800 authors from over 45 countries. And one Sean Connery.

Festival fever continued apace last week following announcements about the Free Fringe Festival, The Edinburgh Interactive Festival and – most anticipated of all – the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Book Festival organisers said this year's programme boasted their biggest and most international line-up to date. This year's festival, which again sets out its stall in Edinburgh's Charlotte Square Gardens, will host the launch of the long-awaited memoirs of Sir Sean Connery, Being A Scot. Connery will be in discussion with the book's co-author, Scottish film-maker Murray Grigor on the final day of the festival.

Elsewhere on the programme, a record 800 authors will appear from over 45 countries, with over 200 Scottish authors taking part. Highlights include Salman Rushdie, Louis de Bernières, Margaret Atwood and Hanif Kureishi. Politics will also play an important role in the programme, with John Prescott, Alex Salmond (who will deliver The National Library of Scotland Donald Dewar Lecture), Menzies Campbell, Tony Benn, Alan Johnston and Kate Adie all making an appearance.

Other highlights include 2008 Orange Prize winner Rose Tremain, who will be speaking about her winning novel, The Road Home and a Focus on China series, which will boast Orange short-listed Xiaolu Guo, Tianaman Square protestor Diane Wei Liang, Chiew-Siah Tei, Sun Shuyun and analysts Mark Leonard and Rana Mitter.

Book Festival director, Catherine Lockerbie, said of the line-up: 'I am overjoyed that so many authors, from the most renowned to brand new writers being heard here for the first time, have accepted our invitation to come and be part of our intricately constructed 25th anniversary Festival.'
In other festival news, the Edinburgh Interactive Festival has launched its programme and will run between Sunday 10 and Tuesday 12 August at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. As in previous years, members of the public are welcome at this specially designed weekend of screenings and events.

And finally, the Free Fringe has announced 115 free shows this year, having grown fourfold in the last three years with plans to encompass theatre as well as comedy.

For full Edinburgh International Book Festival information see www.edbookfest.co.uk