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.
• 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, 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.