She’s one of the biggest names in crime writing, with over 15 million novels sold worldwide. But that’s just one of the many strings to Val McDermid’s bow. You may have seen her sing with her band The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers (Glastonbury is on the agenda this year), or captain a victorious team on Celebrity University Challenge. But in this series she turns her attention to another passion: the power of home and the scourge of homelessness. In insightful events featuring Ali Smith, Kamila Shamsie, Nayrouz Qarmout and Karine Polwart among others, McDermid discusses the meaning of home for migrants and refugees, as well as the crisis facing the homeless in Britain today.
Karine Polwart, Nayrouz Qarmout & Ali Smith with Val McDermid
HOME FOR MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES?
Monday 12 August 10:00 - 11:00
‘Hordes’, ‘swarms’ and ‘invasion’ – words used in recent headlines to dehumanise migrants. Guest Selector Val McDermid explores stories of individuals and families who’ve faced the decision to leave their homeland. Nayrouz Qarmout talks of her birth in a Damascus refugee camp and her subsequent move to Gaza; Ali Smith discusses those she encountered in her work on the Refugee Tales project; and singer-songwriter Karine Polwart shares some of her powerful, deeply-felt music and ideas about the migrant experience.
Leila Aboulela, Robin Robertson & Kamila Shamsie with Val McDermid
WHAT IS HOME?
Wednesday 14 August 10:00 - 11:00
One of this year’s Guest Selectors, Val McDermid leads a lively and thought-provoking discussion on the shifting nature of home with three leading authors who have written about the topic. Cairo-born Leila Aboulela was raised in Khartoum but has lived most of her adult life in Aberdeen; Kamila Shamsie was born in Karachi but has spent much of her adult life in America and Britain, Robin Robertson was brought up on the north east coast of Scotland. What does ‘home’ mean to them?
Danny Dorling, Geetha Marcus & Joelle Taylor with Val McDermid
WHAT DOES HOMELESSNESS MEAN?
Thursday 15 August 11:45 - 12:45
This discussion led by guest selector Val McDermid explores the many forms of homelessness: sleeping rough, sofa surfing, living in cars and temporary accommodation. Geographer Danny Dorling presents evidence about homelessness in British cities, while award-winning poet and playwright Joelle Taylor performs verse responding to her experiences. Glasgow-based sociologist Geetha Marcus discusses the lives of young women in Scotland’s traveller community.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Home Less are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.
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