ED2013 News ED2013 Words & Events

Book Festival to celebrate thirty years by looking to next three decades

By | Published on Friday 21 June 2013


The Edinburgh International Book Festival will look back at its first thirty years in business this August, while also looking ahead to the next three decades in the world of literature, and the world at large.

The literary element to Edinburgh’s festival month published its 2013 programme yesterday, and the event’s thirtieth anniversary – the first book fest was in 1983 – is very much part of the proceedings, though partly as an excuse to look ahead to the next thirty years and what the world might face in terms of the environment, the arts, defence and mental health, amongst other issues. Leading thinkers will be invited to consider all those areas, while a panel of non-politicians will also consider what lies ahead in Scotland’s immediate future, and the key questions to be asked before the big independence vote.

Elsewhere in the programme are strands programmed by Gavin Esler (on our loss of faith in institutions), Neil Gaiman (on the reshaping of the modern fantasy story), Kate Nosse (on re-evaluating the role of women in the world today) and Margert Atwood (on genre boundaries, and why the best works ignore them). Meanwhile writer and illustrator Barroux will be the festival’s illustrator in residence, and other celebrity bookings include Andrew Marr, Salmon Rushdie, Liz Lochhead and Roddy Doyle.

The festival will also include a celebration of the late great Iain Banks, one of Scotland and Britain’s finest writers of recent times, and a long time supporter of Edinburgh’s book festival, who died earlier this month.

Launching his programme yesterday, Book Festival Director Nick Barley told reporters: “This is not just a birthday, but a celebration of an extraordinary generation of talent. The explosion of Scottish culture over the last 30 years has reverberated around the world and our writers, artists and performers have influenced all aspects of our lives. While we have prematurely lost one of our greatest authors just last week, we must also celebrate the next generation of writers who are distilling the world around us”.

Tickets go on sale on 28 Jun. Info at www.edbookfest.co.uk