ED2014 News ED2014 Spoken Word

“Let’s talk” about the Edinburgh International Book Festival

By | Published on Wednesday 11 June 2014

George RR Martin

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk. Though only when it’s time for questions from the floor, we don’t want any unruly disruptions during the always civil Edinburgh International Book Festival, even if ‘let’s talk’ is the headline of this year’s programme.

Announcing his line-up earlier today, Book Festival Director Nick Barley confirmed that the future of Scotland will be back on the agenda this year as the big independence vote looms, though so will the two world wars, the Commonwealth, economic migration, society, identity, culture and media. “All aspects of communication” in fact.

Says Barley: “The Book Festival provides a crucial forum for dialogue, where we can listen to and learn from one another, particularly in this year of momentous events in Scotland. Our thought-provoking conversations with both authors and audiences will permeate through Charlotte Square Gardens as we welcome world-renowned writers and thinkers from many countries and cultures”.

Amongst those authors being welcomed will be Martin Amis, making his EIBF debut to launch his new novel ‘The Zone Of Interest’, and Haruki Murakami, who makes his first trip to Edinburgh to launch an English edition of his latest work ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki’. Also on hand will be George R R Martin (pictured), the American novelist best known for the ‘A Song Of Ice And Fire’ series, aka the books behind TV phenomenon ‘A Game Of Thrones’.

Plenty of familiar faces will also be returning to Charlotte Square Gardens for another Book Festival appearance this August, including Will Self, Richard Dawkins, Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy and Julia Donaldson, the latter as part of the always top form children’s programme that takes place during Edinburgh’s literary fest.

Menawhile, those bored of being “unbored” at the Fringe, and who feel the urge to pop along to the book zone during Edinburgh’s festival month, will also find some familiar faces, most notably in the Babble On strand, put together by Fringe favourite and occasional ThreeWeeks poem-writer Luke Wright, which will celebrate the British spoken word scene will appearances from the likes of Elvis McGonagall, Hollie McNish and Hannah Silva, and Phill Jupitus in Porky The Poet mode.

And the Book Festival has also partnered with Fringe theatre veterans Grid Iron to stage a promenade production of four newly commissioned pieces of short fiction, where Kei Miller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Kamila Shamsie and Christos Tsiolkas have all been invited to reflect on the themes of identity and home in the form of letters. Those works have been adapted into ‘Letters Home’, which will be performed in Charlotte Square Gardens throughout August.

So, plenty to be getting on with then. This year’s Book Festival runs from 9-25 Aug, with tickets on sale from 24 Jun. More info here.