10 Edinburgh 2015 book festival highlights

Brian Ferguson picks out ten must-see events at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival
This year's Edinburgh International Book Festival line-up promises to be one of the best yet. Pictures: TSPL/Getty/ContributedThis 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

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.”

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• 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.

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

• 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.

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

• 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.

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• 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.

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• 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.