10 Edinburgh 2015 book festival highlights

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Brian Ferguson picks out ten must-see events at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival

This year’s festival will run from August 15 - 31, and promises be the festival’s strongest ever line-up of international guests, with 55 countries due to be represented in Charlotte Square Gardens.

This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival line-up promises to be one of the best yet. Pictures: TSPL/Getty/Contributed

This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival line-up promises to be one of the best yet. Pictures: TSPL/Getty/Contributed

• Marilynne Robinson, 15 August: A first-time appearance for the Pulitzer prize-winner, who will be speaking on “The Restless Reader.”

• Alasdair Gray, 16 August: With a new stage production up the road at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, the artist discusses his iconic novel Lanark, which he wrote between 1954 and 1976.

• Paul Merton, 17 August: One of Britain’s best-known comics will discuss with mental health problems as part of a “Staying Well” series at the festival.

• Philippa Gregory, 21 August: The celebrated historical novels discusses her portrayal of Kateryn Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII.

Nick Robinson and Jesse Jackson will be appearing at the festival. Pictures: Contributed

Nick Robinson and Jesse Jackson will be appearing at the festival. Pictures: Contributed

• Nick Robinson, 20 August: The BBC’s political editor on his General Election diaries.

• Jesse Jackson, 22 August: One of the most famous civil rights activists of the 20th century reflects on a life of campaigning, from his days working with Martin Luther King.

• Celia Imrie, 25 August: The star of Calendar Girls and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel discusses her first book, a comedy set on the French Riviera.

• Edwyn Collins, 25 August: Ian Rankin, one of the guest curators at the festival, chats to the Orange Juice singer and his wife Grace about his incredible recovery from two massive strokes.

• Nicola Sturgeon and Val McDermid, 26 August: The First Minister will turn interviewer to quiz one of her favourite authors, the Fife-born crime writer, who unveils a new short story collection.

• Alan Cumming, 29 August: The Perthshire-born star reflects with Ian Rankin on his autobiography, which revealed how he uncovered deep-buried family secrets after agreeing to go on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? show.