Although the gates to our beloved Charlotte Square Gardens remain closed, we hope this year’s Book Festival – even in this new digital format – still holds something of the spirit and community of the physical experience. And it wouldn’t be the Edinburgh International Book Festival without celebrating the brilliant work of authors, writers and trailblazers who hail from our small country.
This August, we revel in some of the best writing from our shores, and also celebrate the fantastic work taking place as part of our Citizen Communities Project, which - in the face of the global pandemic - had to adapt to ‘a new normal’ and reimagine ways to connect communities and individuals both shielding and digitally excluded.
Ian Rankin: A Rebus for the Dark Times
Monday 17 August 19:00 - 20:00
Ian Rankin joins us for a conversation, in our Edinburgh studio, with leading Scottish journalist Ruth Wishart about Westwind, and a hint of the Dark Times to come.
Kirstin Innes: Who is Clio Campbell?
Friday 21 August 16:00 - 17:00
Kirstin Innes joins Heather Parry to discuss how she ended up creating a novel that zips between daffy state-of-the-nation meditation and fantastic, elastic character study.
Gavin Francis & Kapka Kassabova: The Lie of the Land
Sunday 23 August 14:30 - 15:30
Scotland deepens its reputation for gorgeous travel writing with two delicate, touching new contributions from true masters of the form.
Join the BBC’s Clare English for a dip in the cool waters of two beautiful minds as the writers ruminate on stories that tiptoed from our shores, remnants of a world that no longer exists.
Alexander McCall Smith with Ruth Davidson: For the Love of Humankind
Monday 24 August 10:00 - 11:00
Scottish politician Ruth Davidson joins Alexander McCall Smith in the garden of his Edinburgh home for a socially-distanced chat about life, the universe and pretty much everything.
Iain MacRitchie & Rich Thanki: Healing the Digital Divide
Tuesday 25 August 10:00 - 11:00
Thanki and MacRitchie discuss their ideas with poet Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Co-Founder and Development Director of Open Book, an organisation that seeks to connect communities through a shared love of reading.
Michel Faber: The ‘Evil Is In The ‘Etail
Tuesday 25 August 11:30 - 12:30
Reminiscent of Charles Dickens and of Lewis Carroll, Michel Faber’s fable is a delightful sideways look at the evils of our times. He joins us to discuss Dhikilo’s wild odyssey with literary critic Stuart Kelly.
Richard Holloway: The Human Need for Stories
Tuesday 25 August 16:00 - 17:00
Richard Holloway joins us to talk with Scottish journalist Ruth Wishart about his personal reckoning with the mysteries of life.
Jo Hunter & John Loughton: Power to the People
Wednesday 26 August 14:30 - 15:30
Jo Hunter and John Loughton join the Book Festival’s Communities Programme Director, Noëlle Cobden, to discuss how they made the necessary changes to support and serve their communities during a global pandemic and what ‘community’ means in a post-COVID-19 world.
Douglas Stuart: The Making of Shuggie Bain
Wednesday 26 August 17:30 - 18:30
In the words of the starred Kirkus review: ‘You will never forget Shuggie Bain. Scene by scene, this book is a masterpiece.’ In this event their creator, Douglas Stuart, answers your questions after a conversation with author Damian Barr. Inviting comparisons to the works of Alan Hollinghurst, Frank McCourt, and Hanya Yanagihara, you will not finish it unscathed, and you will not forget Shuggie Bain.
Stories & Scran
Thursday 27 August 19:00 - 20:00
Join us for an evening of food and entertainment, hosted by our Citizen Writers in Residence Eleanor Thom and Leyla Josephine. With live readings, audio recordings and a film created by Citizen participants, our community meal will showcase the insightful and thoughtful work of local people from North Edinburgh and Musselburgh.
William Dalrymple with Fergal Keane: Rapacity and Excess in Imperial India
Saturday 29 August 14:30 - 15:30
In this event the celebrated Scottish writer talks to BBC special correspondent Fergal Keane about India’s turbulent history under imperial rule.
Andrew O'Hagan: Heydays in the Haçienda
Sunday 30 August 17:30 - 18:30
The fine grain of working-class teenagers’s lives; the blether, the binge-drinking and nights on the pull: Mayflies sees Andrew O’Hagan in scintillating, heartbreakingly good form. He talks with fellow Scottish writer, columnist and doyen of the literary salon, Damian Barr.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Made in Scotland 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!