We are honoured to welcome the masterminds behind some of the most ground-breaking literature from across the world this year. The quest for answers, for truths, to make sense of these troubling times, can be as plagued with anxiety as the issues themselves.
With fake news, dry political broadcasts and social media rants clouding our perspectives. But the best stories – the ones that linger in the memory long after the last page is turned – allow us to process big issues slowly, sub-consciously.
These are the stories which teach us more about ourselves and the world we live in. That give us those joyous moments of clarity and understanding. That not only put us in the shoes of others, but helps us feel the tingling of another’s skin. Enjoy!
Maggie O'Farrell: Giving New Life to Shakespeare’s Son
Saturday 15 August 19:00 - 20:00
Join the Edinburgh-based writer as she discusses her latest critically acclaimed novel with Scottish author and journalist Stuart Kelly.
This is a live event, with an author Q&A.
Hilary Mantel: Inside the Head of Thomas Cromwell
Sunday 16 August 20:30 - 21:30
In today’s event filmed at Hilary Mantel’s home in Devon, Guardian chief culture writer Charlotte Higgins also talks to the double Booker Prize winner about her subtle depictions of women including Anne Boleyn, and about the vivid, nuanced and compelling re-creation of a 16th century world from a 21st century perspective. Join them for an unmissable conversation.
Michele Hutchison & Marieke Lucas Rijneveld: Reap What You Sow
Monday 17 August 14:30 - 15:30
Join Rijneveld and Hutchinson in this thought-provoking event chaired by Sophie Collins.
Jenny Offill: Storm Warning
Monday 17 August 16:00 - 17:00
Bring your questions and your fears along for what promises to be an astonishing conversation between Offill and Jenny Niven.
Linn Ullmann: Portrait of a Family
Monday 17 August 17:30 - 18:30
LinnUllmann talks to Lee Randall about her gorgeous impressionistic approach to storytelling and how she achieved such a delicate blend of literary modes, where truth and fiction meet. Isn’t life, after all, the ultimate story?
Colum McCann: An Infinity of Stories
Tuesday 18 August 17:30 - 18:30
In this event, McCann discusses Apeirogon and its genesis with leading Palestinian writer and lawyer, Raja Shehadeh.
Philippe Sands with Ian Rankin: On the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive
Tuesday 18 August 19:00 - 20:00
Who better then, to interview Philippe Sands today than Edinburgh’s beloved crime writer, Ian Rankin.
Marian Keyes: Family Matters
Wednesday 19 August 19:00 - 20:00
Join Marian Keyes and writer Jenny Colgan for an evening of unforgettable grown-up fun.
Yoko Ogawa & Stephen Snyder: The Memory of Forgetting
Thursday 20 August 13:00 - 14:00
Yoko Ogawa and Stephen Snyder join writer and Guardian critic Catherine Taylor to explore why a twenty-five year old vision of an imagined future remains so prescient and timely for readers today.
Garth Greenwell: Intimate Truths
Thursday 20 August 20:30 - 21:30
In conversation with Damian Barr, Garth Greenwell expands on his novel’s haunting meditations on our public and private selves.
Sophie Hughes & Fernanda Melchor: Another Mexico
Saturday 22 August 14:30 - 15:30
Celebrated Mexican author Fernanda Melchor’s first book translated into English, Hurricane Season, has been shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. Ahead of the Award’s announcement, author and translator come together with poet Juana Adcock.
Edwidge Danticat: ‘Death Cannot Write Its Own Story’
Saturday 22 August 19:00 - 20:00
Searingly insightful and deeply humane, Edwidge Danticat reflects on an astonishing career in words – from lyric fiction and forensic essays, to stories for children and young people – with British-Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie, herself the subject of widespread acclaim.
Anne Enright with Vicky Featherstone: Mothers and Daughters
Sunday 23 August 19:00 - 20:00
For this event, the Booker Prize-winning novelist is joined by Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre and the first Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, to discuss this sensitive portrayal of a life lived in the spotlight.
Ross Benjamin & Daniel Kehlmann: When History Prefigures Our Own Times
Monday 24 August 13:00 - 14:00
Tyll is a vivid, rip-roaring comic novel about a subversive prankster. Having sold 600,000 copies in Germany, its English edition is now shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. Join Kehlmann and Benjamin to take a plunge back into this wonderfully-crafted and curious alternative reality as they talk to Stuart Kelly.
Yiyun Li: One-way Correspondence
Monday 24 August 14:30 - 15:30
Yiyun Li is the author of books spanning short stories, novels and memoir, and her work inspires plaudits from contemporaries including Max Porter and Meg Wolitzer. Li joins us to talk about her latest novel, Must I Go, with writer and critic Jay G Ying.
Maryse Condé & Richard Philcox: Giving Voice to Guadeloupe
Tuesday 25 August 14:30 - 15:30
Join Condé and Philcox as they reflect on and celebrate a partnership that has spanned decades, genres and literary worlds with writer, journalist and broadcaster Anita Sethi.
Adania Shibli: When the Present is Haunted by the Past
Wednesday 26 August 13:00 - 14:00
In this conversation with Pakistani novelist Fatima Bhutto, Shibli explains the background to her extraordinary book 'Minor Detail'.
Sebastian Barry: Tales from an Uncivil War
Friday 28 August 17:30 - 18:30
A Thousand Moons is a luminous, courageous novel that lingers long in the mind and we’re delighted that Sebastian Barry joins us to discuss it with literary agent Jenny Brown.
Ali Smith & Sarah Wood: Festival – a Film
Friday 28 August 20:30 - 21:30
For this event, Ali Smith has written a new essay exploring the festival that every book is. Working with that essay, artist Sarah Wood has created a 15-minute film which we will show just once: it will not be available to view again after this single live screening. Afterwards, Ali Smith will answer audience questions about Summer and the Seasonal Quartet.
Sarah Crossan with Sally Magnusson: The Other Woman
Saturday 29 August 13:00 - 14:00
In conversation with Sally Magnusson, Sarah Crossan shares what the shift to older readers has meant for her writing process, and how she subverted the conventions of ‘the other woman’ to produce a page-turner about love.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Ground-breaking Voices in Literature are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment. All information (whether in text or photographs) is given in good faith but should not be relied upon as being a statement of representation or fact.
Hear the fascinating but littleknown stories of Edinburgh’s deep connections with Africa, Asia and the Caribbean over the past 500 years.
Join ComputerXplorers SEScotland LiVE on 31 October to learn how to create and design your very own haunted house complete with ghosts and ghouls using Computer Aided Design (CAD drawing)!
Join the Surgeons Hall Museums for Potted Pathology Part 2: The Brain and Neurological Disease on Monday 2nd November!