The Edinburgh International Book Festival has launched its 2017 programme of events, all of which come together under the theme ‘Brave New Words’. With over 1000 authors, poets, illustrators, journalists, historians, politicians, playwrights attending, it is set to be the biggest celebration of its kind ever.
Nick Barley, Director of the Book Festival said:
70 years on from the first Edinburgh Festival, the need for artists and performers to come together in celebration of free speech and the power of creativity is as great as it has ever been. Against a backdrop of political earthquakes, this year’s Book Festival proudly presents an awe-inspiring international array of writers who are closely observing the changing world and – to paraphrase the poet Emily Dickinson – telling it slant.
The Festival has invited authors and journalists from all around the world to share their insights in Age of Political Earthquakes. Man Booker Prize-winner Paul Beatty attends the Festival to explore his satirical masterpiece The Sellout with readers; Howard Jacobson visits with his new comic fairy tale; Zadie Smith looks at feminism and motherhood; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores feminism and motherhood in her newest novel Dear Ijeawale (in discussion with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon), and acclaimed author Paul Auster makes his first visit to talk about his latest novel 4 3 2 1.
Author of Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, will return to the Festival in a special event run in collaboration with David Greilsammer, where he will be reading micro stories interspersed with piano music in St Mary’s Cathedral, and Elif Shafak, Turkey’s most-read female novelist, will explore the connection between fiction and the political world with American writer Siri Hustvedt.
International novelists such as Nicole Krauss, Peter Høeg, Caroline Brothers, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Jenny Erpenbeck, Marcel Theroux and André Naffis-Sahely will all launch their new books in Edinburgh, whilst authors Colson Whitehead and Dana Spiotta make their first appearance at the Festival. Closer to home, we have both Maggie O’Farrell and Val McDermid, who will be launching her latest crime novel; Ali Smith returning with the second in her seasonal series and novelist and poet John Burnside introducing two new works.
In partnership with Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre, the Festival will also take three Scottish novels (each of which are much talked about and award-winning), Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun, Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project, and James Kelman’s Dirt Road, creating a short dramatic presentation of each on stage in Charlotte Square Gardens.
As well as the fascinating programme, as a way of celebrating the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a festival city, this year the Festival will be expanding out of Charlotte Square gardens (all of which still remains as previous years) and onto George Street, with the addition of the Bosco Theatre and The Greenhouse. These venues will host an array of exciting activities, such as workshops, a book shop, live writing, live performances, and more.
The Book Festival receives funding from Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, and runs from Saturday 12 to Monday 28 August 2017. Entrance to the Gardens is FREE and the gardens, cafes, bookshops and all venues are fully accessible.
As previously mentioned, the list of over 1000 events means that there is more than enough to keep literary lovers of all ages and backgrounds happy. You can browse the programme for yourself over on the Book Festival website here.
Tickets to all events go on sale at 8.30am on Tuesday 20 June 2017, online at www.edbookfest.co.uk, by phone on 0845 373 5888 or in person at the Box Office at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (on Tuesday 20 June only, thereafter at The Hub, Castlehill).