The world has lost a quiet literary giant

The world has lost a quiet literary giant

It was with immense sadness that everyone at the Edinburgh International Book Festival learnt that our great friend Iain Banks has passed away. Iain was an ardent supporter of the Book Festival and an important part of our history. He will be greatly missed.

In response to the news, here are a few words from our Director, Nick Barley:

I was deeply saddened to learn of Iain Banks’ death. Not only has the Book Festival lost one of its dearest friends, but the world has lost a quiet literary giant. From The Wasp Factory onwards, Iain’s books have been at the heart of a Scottish literary renaissance that has revolutionised this country’s understanding of itself. At the same time, Iain was a pioneer of a kind of writing that rendered literary genres increasingly unimportant. Above all, Iain was always down to earth; always one of us. Asked whether he could join a celebration of his work at the Book Festival this August, Iain responded ‘I’d bloody love to’, and he was sincerely hoping to be well enough to read from his last book, The Quarry. I deeply regret that he couldn’t be with us long enough to have a final meeting with his loyal audience in our Main Theatre. But we will make certain of one thing: in Iain Banks’ name and in celebration of his thrawn, maverick, independent spirit, this August we will raise the bloody roof.

There will be a special event at this year’s Book Festival to celebrate the life and work of this extraordinary and much-loved writer. Full details of the event, which will take place on Sunday 25 August, will be available when our programme is launched at noon on Thursday 20 June.

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