The Book Festival has long been a champion of new writing and new writers and this year we are honoured to welcome a host of authors whose dazzling debuts are already making big waves in the literary world. These debut writers are interesting, not because of the accolades they're receiving from their peers, or because their titles are popping up on long and shortlists of some of the world’s most prestigious prizes, but because their work reflects the lives and outlooks of people that novels and novelists have often previously ignored. These writers are helping make sense of the world today: they offer new ways to understand the post-Covid landscape. Don’t miss your chance to catch them at this year’s Festival.
Caleb Femi: Poet of the People
Sunday 15 August 14:30 - 15:30
'Caleb Femi is a gift to us all from the storytelling gods,' says fellow writer Max Porter. Join Femi as he talks to artist and novelist Tice Cin about community, photography, and why poetry is ‘the art of the people’.
Warren Ellis: The Beautiful Connections of a Bad Seed
Sunday 15 August 20:30 - 21:30
We are thrilled to welcome Warren Ellis to the Book Festival for the first time with his first book for an inspiring conversation about creativity, the artistic process, friendship, understanding and love.
Cherie Jones: Behind the Barbadian Picture Postcard
Monday 16 August 16:15 - 17:15
Cherie Jones is a lawyer and this is her first full-length fiction debut – and what a way to begin. Her book has been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and is certain to be one of the most talked-about works of 2021. In this special event, Jones speaks about the novel, which delves beneath the surface of a perfect picture postcard, displacing myths of life with stories of existence and survival.
Salena Godden: Bringing Death to Life
Tuesday 17 August 16:00 - 17:00
Mrs Death Misses Death, is the long-awaited debut novel by Salena Godden, one of Britain’s foremost poets, performers and activists. While death is an all-too real and familiar topic of conversation in the midst of a pandemic, this is a life-affirming tale that mixes prose and poetry and has already been optioned for film and TV.
Sonia Faleiro & Megha Majumdar: Outrages in India
Tuesday 17 August 19:00 - 20:00
Faleiro and Majumdar join us to explore the country’s fascinating moral complexities. Their books, though set at opposite ends of a vast country, are finely observed, gripping evocations of life and politics in India.
Polly Barton & Eley Williams: Words That Define Us
Thursday 19 August 10:00 - 11:00
We define words – and then they define us. Meet two authors whose delightful relationship with words and meaning comes to the foreground in their work. Both authors revel in the way that language is an inextricable part of identity, and today they join scholar and translator Iona Macintyre for a discussion about how they’ve turned language into literature.
David Peace & Chris Power: Cities That Cast Long Shadows
Thursday 19 August 13:00 - 14:00
David Power and Chris Peace share their experiences both of their cities and of their unusual writing techniques with freelance producer and director of Push the Boat Out poetry festival, Jenny Niven.
Raven Leilani & Patricia Lockwood: Sharp, Fragmentary Fiction
Thursday 19 August 19:15 - 20:15
Fans of cutting-edge fiction will not want to miss this brilliant meeting of minds. Both Patricia Lockwood and Raven Leilani have written sizzling debut novels that are being celebrated by critics, loved by readers and gaining recognition from major literary prizes this year. Join them as they explore contemporary life and society in all its contradictions, entanglements and fragmentation. Chaired by award-winning journalist, book editor and podcast host Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff.
Oana Aristide & Courttia Newland: New World Disorder
Sunday 22 August 17:30 - 18:30
One interesting product of dystopian fiction is the new perspective it offers on the real world we are living in. That is the case in the novels discussed today. Both novels are vividly imagined worlds, and both offer plenty of talking points about the world we live in today.
Natasha Brown & Olivia Sudjic: Unravelling Lives
Monday 23 August 19:00 - 20:00
Join us today to hear two of the most exciting voices in British fiction discuss their captivating stories of 21st century life and womanhood.
Tice Cin: Three Women of Cyprus
Wednesday 25 August 13:00 - 14:00
A few years ago, writer and artist Tice Cin won a Spread the Word award for literary fiction and it led to an Arvon Foundation writing course. There, Max Porter mentored her and she produced a manuscript that would become her debut novel, Keeping the House. Now, Porter has worked with Cin as her editor and the novel is being produced by independent publisher And Other Stories. Tice Cin joins us today to discuss her remarkable debut with author Nadine Aisha Jassat.
Lisa Taddeo: Violently in Love
Thursday 26 August 19:15 - 20:15
The American author turns her hand to fiction, and her debut novel Animal opens with a bang – literally. In today’s event she talks about the immersive research and incessant journeying that went into writing this propulsive, dynamic thriller.
Daisy Lafarge & Evie Wyld: Strong Female Lead
Friday 27 August 13:00 - 14:00
Daisy Lafarge and Evie Wyld speak to freelance producer and director of Push the Boat Out poetry festival Jenny Niven, about their two exquisite catalogues of isolation, distance and power.
Naoise Dolan & Naomi Ishiguro: Growing Pains
Saturday 28 August 11:15 - 12:15
Every year at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we celebrate the talent, wit and skill of emerging writers. In this event, we are joined by two of the freshest voices in fiction, whose coming-of-age narratives are by turns tender and cynical in their exploration of growing up.
Roisin Kiberd & Lauren Oyler: Online and Disconnected
Monday 30 August 13:15 - 14:15
Bringing together fiction and non-fiction, this event will make you rethink what you thought you knew about the online realm.
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Edinburgh Corn Exchange Car Boot Sale Market is open but with strict rules and guidelines. Come and join us for some bargains and for sellers to have a clearout!
Meander Apparel Sunday Socials are free weekly bike rides leaving from the George Street store, providing the chance for any casual cyclists to meet new people with common interests.
Come and visit Humbie Dean, a two-acre ornamental and woodland garden sandwiched between two burns at 600 feet with interest throughout a long season!