Must see author events at Edinburgh International Book Festival
- Brian Donaldson
- 21 July 2017
The calm of Charlotte Square Gardens is broken by the literary might of writers from as far apart as Norway and Nigeria, and, closer to home, Inverness and Perth
The Edinburgh International Book Festival is renowned for annually bringing to the city some of the world's most exciting and skilled writers, poets and performers. This year's programme is full of events in a multitude of genres to suit every taste, from poetry slams to group discussions, featuring both local and international talent. To help you with your top picks, we've rounded up some of the writers we're most looking forward to catching in August.
In Blind Spot, the US-Nigerian writer and photographer merges those two talents as he captures the moments in words and pictures of travelling to locales such as Berlin, Brooklyn, Capri and Wannsee, all of which help to unlock memories and significances for him.
Teju Cole, 13 Aug, 4pm, £12 (£10).
In this event, Scotland's Makar reflects upon a notable moment in Edinburgh's literary history. While Wilfred Owen was being treated in the capital for post-traumatic styress disorder, he met Siegfried Sassoon, changing the course of war poetry forever. Kay will premiere a new work to mark that occasion.
Jackie Kay, 16 Aug, 1.30pm, £12 (£10).
Karl Ove Knausgaard
The six-volume autobiographical fiction My Struggle is owned by one in ten people in his native Norway, while the likes of Zadie Smith and Jonathan Lethem have raved about Knausgaard's genius. Curiously, he's the second writer at the festival to be currently writing a quartet of books named after the seasons …
Karl Ove Knausgaard, 23 Aug, 5pm, £12 (£10).
Turkey's renowned novelist and political scientist returns to the Book Festival armed with her latest novel, Three Daughters of Eve, which focuses on a trio of Middle Eastern women with very different worldviews while they're all studying at Oxford. Fact fans: among Shafak's musical choices on Desert Island Discs in May were Radiohead, Leonard Cohen and Swedish death metal
band Arch Enemy.
Elif Shafak, 17 Aug, 7pm, £8 (£6).
It seems a very long time since those mercurial early days of My Beautiful Launderette and Buddha of Suburbia, but Kureishi has simply kept on writing acclaimed and often controversial books and screenplays. His latest, The Nothing, features an ageing filmmaker and his revenge fantasies.
Hanif Kureishi, 22 Aug, 1.30pm, £12 (£10).
Inverness-born, Cambridge-based and admired by readers everywhere, the thrice Booker nominated Smith will hopefully be teasing us with an early insight into Winter, the second of her seasons quartet. Rather appropriately the novel is published this coming November, with a tagline that might reveal something: 'it's the season that teaches us survival'.
Ali Smith, 20 Aug, 5pm, £12 (£10).
1967 was a momentous year in music (Sgt Pepper and all that) and this former scribe during the NME's halcyon days recalls how Detroit became the focus for a true revolution in soul and disco. A backdrop of urban unrest lends weight to the Perth-born writer, commentator and football analyst's story of social and cultural upheaval.
Stuart Cosgrove, 15 Aug, 8.45pm, £12 (£10).
As part of the Babble On spoken-word strand, former Aisle 16 'boyband' member Luke Wright and a quintet of contemporary verse writers and performers (among them William Letford and Jenny Lindsay) consider 350 years of the Poet Laureate. Their subjects range from Charles II's appointee John Dryden to Elizabeth II's current choice Carol Ann Duffy.
Poets Laureate, 19 Aug, 12.30pm, £12 (£10).
After her blog on the denial of most white people to acknowledge that structural racism was still a major problem grew arms and legs, Eddo-Lodge decided to expand her thesis further into a book. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race proceeded to strike more than a nerve or two.
Reni Eddo-Lodge, 18 Aug, 4pm, £12 (£10).
Fresh from a scintillating trio of performances as Brutus, Prospero and Henry IV in the Donmar's women's prison-set Shakespeare Trilogy, acclaimed actress Walter chats with Jackie McGlone about the particular challenges of playing a number of Will's signature men.
Harriet Walter, 27 Aug, 3.15pm, £12 (£10).
All events at Charlotte Square Gardens.