Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Outriders

Five Scottish writers relate stories about the state of the Americas today after being sent over on epic jouneys.

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Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Outriders
About Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Outriders

Earlier this year we sent five Scottish writers on epic journeys across the Americas, each one travelling with a local writer. Harry Giles crossed Canada with Métis author Katherena Vermette; Jenni Fagan travelled from the Rust Belt to Silicon Valley with Chicago-based Bonnie Jo Campbell; Malachy Tallack journeyed from Fargo to Tennessee with Dakota novelist Jennifer Haigh; Stef Smith voyaged the length of Mexico with leading playwright Ximena Escalante; and Kevin MacNeil toured Argentina with Buenos Aires-based writer Mariana Enriquez. They have each returned with a clutch of fascinating material and, in a series of events, will tell us what they saw and heard, relating stories about the state of the Americas today. Supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. With thanks to the British Council.

Outriders: Harry Giles & Katherena Vermette
CANADA: MONTREAL TO HUDSON BAY
Sunday 13 August 3:30pm - 4:30pm
As part of our project to explore the Americas, poet Harry Giles travelled across Canada with Métis writer Katherena Vermette. Starting in Montreal amid the buzzy Quebecois writing scene, the two writers travelled to Winnipeg, where Lord Selkirk’s Red River colony was set up to house farmers displaced by Scotland’s Clearances. From there, the writers flew north to the small town of Churchill – known as the polar bear capital of the world. Today they share some of their unforgettable experiences, and some of the writing inspired by the journey.

Outriders: The Reunion
CHRONICLES OF THE NEW WORLD
Sunday 13 August 8:45pm - 10:15pm
From the Arctic Circle to Buenos Aires, our Outriders accumulated an incredible 67,500 miles on planes, trains and automobiles interrogating the socio-political landscape of the Americas. Harry Giles and Katherena Vermette journeyed through Canada to Hudson Bay; Malachy Tallack and Jennifer Haigh drove from Fargo to New Orleans; Jenni Fagan and Bonnie Jo Campbell travelled from the Rust Belt to Silicon Valley; Ximena Escalante joined playwright Stef Smith to cross Mexico; Kevin MacNeil and Mariana Enriquez explored Buenos Aires before voyaging to Cordoba in search of a UFO. At this special reunion, we present all 10 Outriders as they describe their intrepid expeditions.

Outriders: Ximena Escalante & Stef Smith
MEXICO: FROM THE US BORDER TO GUATEMALA
Monday 14 August 6:30pm - 7:30pm
As part of our project to explore the Americas, leading Mexican playwright Ximena Escalante travelled across Mexico with Scottish theatre writer Stef Smith. Starting in the US city of San Diego, they journeyed south across the Mexican border, making their way to Mexico City, Oaxaca and Merida before arriving at the country’s southern border with Guatemala. Today they share some of their unforgettable experiences, and some of the writing inspired by the journey.

Outriders: Bonnie Jo Campbell & Jenni Fagan
USA: FROM THE RUST BELT TO SILICON VALLEY
Monday 14 August 8:30pm - 9:30pm
As part of our project to explore the Americas, short story writer Bonnie Jo Campbell travelled across her home country with Scottish novelist and poet Jenni Fagan. The two writers started in derelict Detroit, then visited a tented city in Chicago and the Tesla car factory in California’s Silicon Valley, meeting a vast array of extraordinary people along the way. Today they share some of their unforgettable experiences, and some of the writing inspired by the journey.

Outriders: Mariana Enriquez & Kevin MacNeil
ARGENTINA: IN SEARCH OF UFOS
Tuesday 15 August 2:30pm - 3:30pm
As part of our project to explore the Americas, Scottish novelist Kevin MacNeil travelled around Argentina with journalist, novelist and short story writer Mariana Enriquez. Starting in Buenos Aires, the writers set off in search of lost voices, both literary and of other citizens within the capital city. MacNeil travelled across the Pampas to the city of Cordoba, while Enriquez embarked on her own journey into the imagination of a Scottish writer, both in search of UFOs. Today they share some of their unforgettable experiences, and some of the writing inspired by the journey. Chaired by Nick Barley.

Outriders: Jennifer Haigh & Malachy Tallack
USA: FROM NORTH DAKOTA TO NEW ORLEANS
Tuesday 15 August 7:00pm - 8:00pm
As part of our project to explore the Americas, Boston novelist Jennifer Haigh travelled with Scottish writer Malachy Tallack on a journey that took in the Midwestern heartlands of Donald Trump’s USA. Starting in Fargo, they visited the site of the Dakota Pipeline protests before travelling south through Tennessee and Mississippi and arriving in Louisiana. Along the way, they met the reclusive writer Wendell Berry and members of the Black Lives Matter movement. Today they share some of their unforgettable experiences, and some of the writing inspired by the journey.

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