Press Releases

Up-to-date news from the Book Festival press office will be posted here as we have it. Please browse the latest and archive press releases below.

‘We Need New Stories’ Resonates with Audiences At The Edinburgh International Book Festival

‘We Need New Stories’ Resonates with Audiences At The Edinburgh International Book Festival
Mon 26 August 2019

With a debut Palestinian author topping the best-selling books list, and with eight of the top ten bestselling books having been written by women, the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s most diverse public programme comes to a close today after 17 days of extraordinary debate, discussion and public engagement with authors and audiences from around the world and across the political and cultural spectrum…

“If that person can be the President of the United States  then anything can happen,” – Salman Rushdie

“If that person can be the President of the United States then anything can happen,” – Salman Rushdie
Mon 26 August 2019

In a sold out event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Salman Rushdie talked about his latest novel Quichotte, a modern retelling of Don Quixote set in the USA…

“Somehow the idea of leadership has become fairytales,” says Rory Stewart.

“Somehow the idea of leadership has become fairytales,” says Rory Stewart.
Mon 26 August 2019

“We’re going to have a no deal brexit, we’re going to launch into a new world because there is still this sort of craving, for a sort of heroic vision that has so little to do with the business of government.”…

“The tragedy of Scotland at the moment is that there are two extreme positions,  and we’re trapped between them,” according to Gordon Brown

“The tragedy of Scotland at the moment is that there are two extreme positions, and we’re trapped between them,” according to Gordon Brown
Mon 26 August 2019

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke today about nationalism, Brexit, and Scottish Independence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with writer Alastair Moffat…

Kerry Hudson: “The Erosion Of Libraries Is Warfare Against Poor Communities”

Kerry Hudson: “The Erosion Of Libraries Is Warfare Against Poor Communities”
Sun 25 August 2019

“I really strongly believe that the erosion of libraries is warfare against poor communities and social mobility in this country,” said Kerry Hudson, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with fellow writer Sarah Smarsh…

“Art saves lives,” says Lemn Sissay.

“Art saves lives,” says Lemn Sissay.
Sun 25 August 2019

“Family is a set of disputed memories between one group of people over a lifetime. I sort of realised that at eighteen I had nobody to dispute the memory of me.” Poet Lemn Sissay…

“Climate change is a man-made problem that requires a feminist solution,” says Mary Robinson

“Climate change is a man-made problem that requires a feminist solution,” says Mary Robinson
Sun 25 August 2019

“A feminist solution definitely includes men and I’m glad to say, increasingly includes men, because the feminist solution is based on equality.” Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today…

“You cannot avoid living in God – it’s there. You can feel it in the trees.”  Goenawan Mohamad

“You cannot avoid living in God – it’s there. You can feel it in the trees.” Goenawan Mohamad
Sat 24 August 2019

Indonesian poet, essayist and reluctant journalist Goenawan Mohamad spoke today of God and trees in a discussion on his literary career. “You cannot avoid living in God – it’s there. You can feel it in the trees,” he said…

Pete Etchells On the Benefits of Video Games at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Pete Etchells On the Benefits of Video Games at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sat 24 August 2019

“It’s not necessarily the case that gaming addiction – if it exists – looks the same as something like drug addiction or gambling addiction,” said Pete Etchells,…

Inequality in pay is an “issue of justice” that we should all be looking at,  says Carrie Gracie.

Inequality in pay is an “issue of justice” that we should all be looking at, says Carrie Gracie.
Fri 23 August 2019

“It turns into a situation where the cover up is worse than the crime, because you had the original thing where you were valued less.” Scottish journalist Carrie Gracie, best known for her battle against the BBC for a fair wage based on disparities with her male peers…

Reinterpreting Pacific Island Myths  with Māori Authors Tina Makereti and Whiti Hereaka

Reinterpreting Pacific Island Myths with Māori Authors Tina Makereti and Whiti Hereaka
Fri 23 August 2019

“That’s the way that Oceania is, it’s this vast place that’s full of stories, that’s very rich, that hasn’t always been seen that way since the empire spread,” said Tina Makereti,…

Matt Haig calls for new language around mental health

Matt Haig calls for new language around mental health
Fri 23 August 2019

Best-selling author Matt Haig proposed that new language is needed to better define the difference between ‘mental health’ and ‘mental illness’…

“I don’t think it is healthy in 21st century Scotland  to allow the unregulated concentration of power,” says Andrew Thin

“I don’t think it is healthy in 21st century Scotland to allow the unregulated concentration of power,” says Andrew Thin
Fri 23 August 2019

Discussion around land reform and the resulting power imbalance that happens with unregulated land ownership across Scotland, flowed today at a debate titled ‘Who Owns Scotland’s Land’ at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

“Populism is a fake answer to real problems,” says Turkish writer Elif Shafak

“Populism is a fake answer to real problems,” says Turkish writer Elif Shafak
Fri 23 August 2019

“Now we know that no countries are immune to toxic populism or toxic nationalism, in fact we’re all in the same boat together,” said Turkish author and human rights activist, Elif Shafak in an emotional discussion about the rise of populism, nationalism and identity politics…

“Are we being good ancestors?” asks Robert MacFarlane.

“Are we being good ancestors?” asks Robert MacFarlane.
Fri 23 August 2019

English writer Robert MacFarlane appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in an event chaired by Scottish writer and doctor Gavin Francis, to discuss his new book Underland: A Deep Time Journey…

It’s tempting to have female protagonists “more feminist” in historical novels, says Tracy Chevalier.

It’s tempting to have female protagonists “more feminist” in historical novels, says Tracy Chevalier.
Thu 22 August 2019

“The temptation is always to have them be banner waving and more like us,” said celebrated historical fiction author Tracy Chevalier at an event today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

‘Attitudes towards slavery are more complex, just as life today is complex’ Finlay McKichan at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

‘Attitudes towards slavery are more complex, just as life today is complex’ Finlay McKichan at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Thu 22 August 2019

“Attitudes towards slavery are more complex, just as life today is complex” said Finlay McKichan at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

“I can’t touch my head now, but I can drink a pint, not with one hand but with two. You’ve got to adapt,” says Doddie Weir

“I can’t touch my head now, but I can drink a pint, not with one hand but with two. You’ve got to adapt,” says Doddie Weir
Wed 21 August 2019

“I can’t touch my head now, but I can drink a pint, not with one hand but with two, you’ve got to adapt,” said Doddie Weir, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in a sold-out, laughter-filled event which ended in a full standing ovation…

Classical music “unites the generations,” says Sir James MacMillan.

Classical music “unites the generations,” says Sir James MacMillan.
Wed 21 August 2019

Acclaimed Scottish composer and conductor, Sir James MacMillan appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today to discuss his new book, A Scots Song: A Life of Music, with the Episcopal Bishop of St. Andrews, Ian Paton…

“It is a mark of a civilised society that we have a National Health Service,” says Dr. Kenneth Calman.

“It is a mark of a civilised society that we have a National Health Service,” says Dr. Kenneth Calman.
Wed 21 August 2019

Kenneth Calman has been a cornerstone of British Medicine for the last few decades. As a former Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, and later England, he has navigated the National Health Service and Government around issues like Mad Cow Disease, the HIV epidemic and developing cancer care treatment in Scotland…

“I cannot think of a thing that I hold in more contempt  than the tabloid presses of this country,” says Max Porter.

“I cannot think of a thing that I hold in more contempt than the tabloid presses of this country,” says Max Porter.
Wed 21 August 2019

“I cannot think of a thing that I hold in more contempt than the tabloid presses of this country,” said Max Porter, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

Ellie Harrison discusses The Glasgow Effect at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Ellie Harrison discusses The Glasgow Effect at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Tue 20 August 2019

“The most sustainable way of addressing the climate emergency and inequality is reducing the lifestyles of the most privileged people in society, that’s actually what we need to do.” said Ellie Harrison, the artist behind the controversial art project The Glasgow Effect…

 “Britain has a habit of making promises to people that it never intends to keep,  or could not conceivably keep,” says Peter Hitchens.

“Britain has a habit of making promises to people that it never intends to keep, or could not conceivably keep,” says Peter Hitchens.
Tue 20 August 2019

“I’m not a surrenderist. I’m not a Hitler apologist. I’m not, in fact, even an appeaser. I’m just somebody who thinks that a country which hides its own past from itself, will never ever manage its own present. Let alone make its way healthily into the future.”…

“If Kashmir is occupied by an army, right now India is occupied by a mob,” says Arundhati Roy

“If Kashmir is occupied by an army, right now India is occupied by a mob,” says Arundhati Roy
Mon 19 August 2019

“If Kashmir is occupied by an army, right now India is occupied by a mob,” said Arundhati Roy, speaking today with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

Insects “really save our lives every single day,” says Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson.

Insects “really save our lives every single day,” says Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson.
Mon 19 August 2019

“It is fascinating to think of the fact that fruit flies have actually helped out with six Nobel prizes in medicine, they have been an important part of them.”…

“Food is fundamental to our being able to make progress,” says Robyn Metcalfe.

“Food is fundamental to our being able to make progress,” says Robyn Metcalfe.
Mon 19 August 2019

Self-declared “Food Futurist”, Robyn Metcalfe appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss her new book Food Routes and to talk about the supply chain that food production and distribution operates under…

“I think I’m a better writer for not being angry” – Raja Shehadeh

“I think I’m a better writer for not being angry” – Raja Shehadeh
Mon 19 August 2019

“I think I’m a better writer for not being angry,” said Raja Shehadeh, speaking yesterday at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with playwright David Greig…

Murray Pittock Examines the Scottish Enlightenment

Murray Pittock Examines the Scottish Enlightenment
Sun 18 August 2019

“I hesitate to suggest that intellectual curiosity is some kind of ethno-culturally essentially Scottish thing but there are circumstances in Scotland which do support it,” said Murray Pittock…

“I cannot look into [Jeremy Corbyn’s] heart and say he is personally an anti-Semite but I can say that he presides over it,” says Julia Neuberger

“I cannot look into [Jeremy Corbyn’s] heart and say he is personally an anti-Semite but I can say that he presides over it,” says Julia Neuberger
Sun 18 August 2019

“I cannot look into [Jeremy Corbyn’s] heart and say he is personally an anti-Semite but I can say that he presides over it,” said Julia Neuberger…

“I think racists now have just gotten a lot more sophisticated,”  says Benjamin Zephaniah.

“I think racists now have just gotten a lot more sophisticated,” says Benjamin Zephaniah.
Sun 18 August 2019

“When I say they’ve got more sophisticated now - racists, is that they’re wearing suits and ties. They’re in positions of power. When I see Nigel Farage...when I see him, I look at the people behind him. Look at his security, those are The National Front guys I was fighting in the seventies and eighties.”…

“We’re fat, you can’t silence it,” says Sofie Hagen.

“We’re fat, you can’t silence it,” says Sofie Hagen.
Sun 18 August 2019

Vocal inclusivity activist and comedian Sofie Hagen appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss her book Happy Fat, the process of loving your body and why she prefers fat activism to body positivity…

“Computer animation tends towards perfection and we don’t think perfectionism is actually a particularly good thing,” says Peter Lord

“Computer animation tends towards perfection and we don’t think perfectionism is actually a particularly good thing,” says Peter Lord
Sun 18 August 2019

“Computer animation tends towards perfection and we don’t think perfectionism is actually a particularly good thing,” according to Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman Animations with David Sproxton,…

Tales of love and war win oldest book prizes in centenary year

Tales of love and war win oldest book prizes in centenary year
Sat 17 August 2019

A biography of a distinguished war correspondent and a novel about personal relationships amid political turmoil, have won the centenary awards of Britain’s oldest literary prizes…

“We expect the people who deal with the consequences of the oppression  to dismantle the oppression,” says Gina Martin.

“We expect the people who deal with the consequences of the oppression to dismantle the oppression,” says Gina Martin.
Sat 17 August 2019

“We expect the people who deal with the consequences of the oppression to dismantle the oppression,” according to Gina Martin, speaking yesterday at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with writer Heather Parry…

“I wanted to write a book unlike any other, one that’s useful.” says Jack Monroe.

“I wanted to write a book unlike any other, one that’s useful.” says Jack Monroe.
Sat 17 August 2019

“I wanted to write a book unlike any other, one that’s useful.” said Jack Monroe, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with writer Heather Parry…

The “one good thing about colonisation” is the rhythm of language in Ireland,  says Roddy Doyle.

The “one good thing about colonisation” is the rhythm of language in Ireland, says Roddy Doyle.
Fri 16 August 2019

Acclaimed Irish author Roddy Doyle appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today discussing his new book Charlie Savage at an event chaired by Glaswegian author Chris Brookmyre…

“If you’re an uber driver, you have more protection” than fashion models,  says Eunice Olumide.

“If you’re an uber driver, you have more protection” than fashion models, says Eunice Olumide.
Fri 16 August 2019

Supermodel and fashion sustainability spokeswoman, Eunice Olumide appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss her new book, the issues she’s faced with racism in the fashion industry and how we should all try to slow down ‘fast fashion’ at an event chaired by New York Times style reporter, Elizabeth Paton…

“We are governed by people who believe that the threat of having to live on the streets is a useful threat,” according to Danny Dorling.

“We are governed by people who believe that the threat of having to live on the streets is a useful threat,” according to Danny Dorling.
Thu 15 August 2019

“We are governed by people who believe that the threat of having to live on the streets is a useful threat to get people to behave,” Danny Dorling has said today…

The “flexing of English nationalist muscles” will damage the UK, says Diarmuid Ferriter.

The “flexing of English nationalist muscles” will damage the UK, says Diarmuid Ferriter.
Thu 15 August 2019

Acclaimed historian Diarmuid Ferriter and long standing Northern Irish journalist Malachi O’Doherty discussed the backstop and the state of Anglo-Irish relations as the UK moves closer to Brexit, at an event chaired by retired journalist Liz Leonard at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today…

“You can conceal truth but you can’t conceal it forever,” says Serhii Plokhy

“You can conceal truth but you can’t conceal it forever,” says Serhii Plokhy
Wed 14 August 2019

“You can conceal truth but you can’t conceal it forever,” according to Serhii Plokhy, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

“The state, when it wants to use its power, tends to be stronger than any company,” according to Branko Milanovic

“The state, when it wants to use its power, tends to be stronger than any company,” according to Branko Milanovic
Wed 14 August 2019

“The state, when it wants to use its power, tends to be stronger than any company. The question is actually whether in some cases the state wants to use it,” according to Branko Milanovic, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

Mansplaining is “rife in Christianity”, says Richard Holloway.

Mansplaining is “rife in Christianity”, says Richard Holloway.
Wed 14 August 2019

“I’m not sure I do accept God, or how God has been traditionally defined or understood. That’s one prong of my dilemma.” Former Bishop of Edinburgh, author Richard Holloway, discussed toxic masculinity in Christianity, the harm humans do to each other and how the stories we tell ourselves should never lead to cruelty, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today in an event chaired by novelist James Runcie…

“The only way to avoid No Deal is to vote for a deal,” according to Ruth Davidson

“The only way to avoid No Deal is to vote for a deal,” according to Ruth Davidson
Tue 13 August 2019

“The only way to avoid No Deal is to vote for a deal,” according to Ruth Davidson. The Scottish Conservative leader was speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival about her new book on female empowerment, Yes She Can, with former Olympic athlete Katherine Grainger…

China Dream is an act of revenge, says exiled writer at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

China Dream is an act of revenge, says exiled writer at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Tue 13 August 2019

“If you cannot live in freedom, love is impossible,” says exiled writer Ma Jian at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today, while discussing his book China Dream with poet André Naffis-Sahely and assisted by his longtime translator Flora Drew…

Sunlight is “absolutely crucial” in order to be healthy, says Steve Jones.

Sunlight is “absolutely crucial” in order to be healthy, says Steve Jones.
Tue 13 August 2019

“Sunlight is absolutely crucial,” said Steve Jones, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival about his research about the sun…

“It is incontrovertible that men who loved men were persecuted by the British state,” Author Naomi Wolf

“It is incontrovertible that men who loved men were persecuted by the British state,” Author Naomi Wolf
Tue 13 August 2019

“It is incontrovertible that men who loved men were persecuted by the British state, in jails by the British state, sentenced to hard labour by the British state and transported by the British state for loving each other, in many many cases. So, I am on the right side of history with my book and with these interpretations,” said American Author Naomi Wolf…

“Everything in moderation, including moderation,” says Geneticist and Author Dr. Giles Yeo.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation,” says Geneticist and Author Dr. Giles Yeo.
Mon 12 August 2019

Dr. Yeo discussed his book Gene Eating in an event chaired by journalist Ruth Wishart at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today, examining topics including fad diets, veganism and how our genetic makeup impacts weight loss…

“Suffering and revolution is a collective experience. If I rebel, then we exist,”  Palestinian Writer Nayrouz Qarmout

“Suffering and revolution is a collective experience. If I rebel, then we exist,” Palestinian Writer Nayrouz Qarmout
Mon 12 August 2019

“If I rebel, then we exist,” said Nayrouz Qarmout, at an event today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in conversation with singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, and authors Ali Smith and Val McDermid, one of the Festival’s Guest Selectors…

“Suffering and revolution is a collective experience. If I rebel, then we exist,”  Palestinian Writer Nayrouz Qarmout

“Suffering and revolution is a collective experience. If I rebel, then we exist,” Palestinian Writer Nayrouz Qarmout
Mon 12 August 2019

“If I rebel, then we exist,” said Nayrouz Qarmout, at an event today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in conversation with singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, and authors Ali Smith and Val McDermid, one of the Festival’s Guest Selectors…

“How do you tell the story of a nation through millions and millions of letters?” Jeanne Marie Laskas at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

“How do you tell the story of a nation through millions and millions of letters?” Jeanne Marie Laskas at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Mon 12 August 2019

“I had no idea that the President had been reading ten letters a day for eight years while he was in office. I discovered it by accident at the very end of the Obama administration…

“If you treat everyone the same, that does not necessarily result in equality.” Caroline Criado Perez

“If you treat everyone the same, that does not necessarily result in equality.” Caroline Criado Perez
Sun 11 August 2019

“Women are treated as outliers, they’re treated as if they are atypical,” said Caroline Criado Perez, speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson about her new book, Invisible Women, which covers the “gender data gap”…

Basic water for basic needs has to be a human right”,  according to Fred Pearce,

Basic water for basic needs has to be a human right”, according to Fred Pearce,
Sun 11 August 2019

“Water has to be a human right.” according to Fred Pearce, speaking today with journalist Sheena McDonald at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. “Basic water for basic needs has to be a human right”, he added…

The Best Revenge for Oppression is to Live Life with Freedom says Casey Gerald

The Best Revenge for Oppression is to Live Life with Freedom says Casey Gerald
Sat 10 August 2019

“We’ve been throwing generation after generation after generation of brilliant and beautiful black people at the challenge of trying to make America a nobler country, and I don’t want to lose anymore people to symbolhood”, Casey Gerard discusses symbolism, making room on the buffet table of life and the art of living despite struggle, at The Edinburgh International Book Festival…

“When hope is alive it breaks things. In order for things to get better,  things have to get broken”, says Tim Winton

“When hope is alive it breaks things. In order for things to get better, things have to get broken”, says Tim Winton
Sat 10 August 2019

“There’s an assumption of hope as a feeling. I see it as a discipline,” says Tim Winton. The renowned Australian author was speaking today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with John Williams, Daily Books Editor at the New York Times, about his latest novel, The Shepherd’s Hut…

“Radicalisation is underpinned by raging inequality, anger and impotence”  Fatima Bhutto at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

“Radicalisation is underpinned by raging inequality, anger and impotence” Fatima Bhutto at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sat 10 August 2019

“The underpinnings of radicalisation are not what we’ve been told over the past 20 years”, says Fatima Bhutto. She argues that religious beliefs are not in fact the driving force behind violent terrorism, but instead these are based in feelings of “raging inequality, anger, impotence and humiliation”…

New 365: Stories & Music Sound Installation Launches at Edinburgh International Book Festival

New 365: Stories & Music Sound Installation Launches at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Wed 07 August 2019

The Edinburgh International Book Festival today launched the latest chapter in the 365: Stories and Music collaboration between James Robertson and Aidan O’Rourke…

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