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.

Edinburgh International Book Festival Closes on a High Note

Edinburgh International Book Festival Closes on a High Note
Tue 30 August 2016

Edinburgh International Book Festival closes this afternoon after entertaining over 3,400 primary school children from across Scotland who came to enjoy talks, workshops and discussions on the final day of the Festival…

BBC's Former Director Argues that Political Discourse Has Failed

BBC's Former Director Argues that Political Discourse Has Failed
Tue 30 August 2016

As the former Director General of the BBC and the current Chief Executive of The New York Times Company, Mark Thompson knows more than most about the language deployed by politicians and other public figures…

Scotland's Most Precocious Entrepreneur at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Scotland's Most Precocious Entrepreneur at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Mon 29 August 2016

“When you start a business, you need a story,” Fraser Doherty told the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

Gordon Brown Argues That Even Post Brexit, We're Better Together

Gordon Brown Argues That Even Post Brexit, We're Better Together
Mon 29 August 2016

“It was the biggest rebellion against the establishment view that we have seen in Britain in a century.” So former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has characterised the vote for Brexit,…

Mothers, Madness & Cultural Inheritance - from Morocco to Nigeria

Mothers, Madness & Cultural Inheritance - from Morocco to Nigeria
Mon 29 August 2016

It was his mother who turned Tahar Ben Jalloun into a writer, he says – but not by reading to him or teaching him to write, for she could do neither herself…

Sara Khan Demands a Stronger Response to Radicalisation

Sara Khan Demands a Stronger Response to Radicalisation
Mon 29 August 2016

With the issue of radicalisation among young Muslims perpetually surfacing in the news, and proposed solutions causing controversy on the basis of divisiveness and implicit Islamophobia, Sara Khan operates in treacherous territory…

Alan Cumming Exclusively Previews his New Book at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Alan Cumming Exclusively Previews his New Book at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sun 28 August 2016

“When you are authentic,” said Alan Cumming at the fastest selling event at the Book Festival, “people respect you even if they don’t agree with what you're saying…

Children's Laureate Chris Riddell Delivers Siobhan Dowd Memorial Lecture

Children's Laureate Chris Riddell Delivers Siobhan Dowd Memorial Lecture
Sat 27 August 2016

“There was this extraordinary time when people were paid to go to university,” said Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell during the Book Festival’s popular Siobhan Dowd Trust Memorial Lecture…

StoryShop Takes over Charlotte Square Gardens for Unbound Finale

StoryShop Takes over Charlotte Square Gardens for Unbound Finale
Sat 27 August 2016

Edinburgh City of Literature Trust is taking over Charlotte Square Gardens for the final night of Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Unbound programme…

Feisty Victorian Heroines Discussed by Frances Hardinge & Sarah Perry

Feisty Victorian Heroines Discussed by Frances Hardinge & Sarah Perry
Sat 27 August 2016

The Victorian age may continue to be the favoured playground of contemporary historical novelists but it is still so often misrepresented, whether idealised or dumbed down…

Healthcare in India:  Heading for a Crisis?

Healthcare in India: Heading for a Crisis?
Sat 27 August 2016

When Aarathi Prasad decided to look into the state of medicine and healthcare in her mother’s homeland, India, she took on a subject of daunting cultural, social and economic complexity – and biting relevance…

Helen Pearson on a Unique Study of Thousands of British Lives

Helen Pearson on a Unique Study of Thousands of British Lives
Sat 27 August 2016

“Extraordinary things happen when we do something as simple as track people through their lives.” So said Helen Pearson as she presented her book The Life Project: the Extraordinary Story of our Ordinary Lives…

Glasgow, Reimagined

Glasgow, Reimagined
Fri 26 August 2016

As a young boy growing up in Musselburgh, “the idea that I would work in, live in or produce a book on Glasgow would have been astonishing,” journalist Alan Taylor told the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

David Bowie's 'Representative on Earth' Strives to Encompass an Extraordinary Life

David Bowie's 'Representative on Earth' Strives to Encompass an Extraordinary Life
Fri 26 August 2016

David Bowie could have laid credible claim to being a living artwork - and his recent biographer Paul Morley also has some experience of that state…

Tracking Family Histories In Totalitarian Regimes

Tracking Family Histories In Totalitarian Regimes
Thu 25 August 2016

Things disappear under authoritarian governments – people; texts; buildings; memories. Peter Krištúfek and Madeleine Thien have written novels that explore the changing and changeable stories their respective countries of familial origin – Slovakia and China – tell about themselves…

Insights Into The Cameron-Merkel Relationship,  By Two Chroniclers Of His Time In Office

Insights Into The Cameron-Merkel Relationship, By Two Chroniclers Of His Time In Office
Thu 25 August 2016

So recently triumphant, yet so abruptly dethroned, our most recent ex-Prime Minister leaves something of an enigmatic legacy. Over-privileged stuffed shirt, or gifted political brain? Socially liberal would-be reformer, or inhumane advocate of austerity at all costs? Success story – or wrecking ball?…

Vince Cable on Brexit, Corbyn and Scottish Independence

Vince Cable on Brexit, Corbyn and Scottish Independence
Thu 25 August 2016

Sir Vince Cable presented to the Edinburgh International Book Festival an evocative image of Britain after the Brexit vote: that of the cartoon character who’s run off the edge of a cliff but remains suspended, furiously running in mid-air…

Feminist Pioneer Confronts Death, Grandmotherhood and Online Dating

Feminist Pioneer Confronts Death, Grandmotherhood and Online Dating
Thu 25 August 2016

For a start, it’s JONG not YONG. The grande dame of sexually liberated literature commenced her Edinburgh International Book Festival appearance by clearing up the pronunciation of her surname…

Mapping the Myths & Metaphors of Pregnancy and Vaccination

Mapping the Myths & Metaphors of Pregnancy and Vaccination
Wed 24 August 2016

Few experiences are as romanticised as pregnancy and early motherhood – or as shrouded in mystery…

Stories of Strife & Survival with Wilko Johnson

Stories of Strife & Survival with Wilko Johnson
Wed 24 August 2016

Emotional extremes characterised a chat between famed musician Wilko Johnson and DJ Vic Galloway…

A Chef with Local Knowledge - Mark Greenaway chats to Val McDermid

A Chef with Local Knowledge - Mark Greenaway chats to Val McDermid
Wed 24 August 2016

Mark Greenaway has little patience with the caricaturing of the Scottish diet as a queasy cavalcade of macaroni pies and deep-fried confectionery…

Two Works of Historical Crime Fiction Play Out Against Dramatic Landscapes

Two Works of Historical Crime Fiction Play Out Against Dramatic Landscapes
Tue 23 August 2016

“I sense I might not be the most popular person in that village,” says Graeme Macrae Burnet of Culduie,…

Philippe Sands Delivers Frederick Hood Memorial Lecture

Philippe Sands Delivers Frederick Hood Memorial Lecture
Sun 21 August 2016

Before 1945, states were absolutely sovereign. In other words, explained Philippe Sands QC in his fascinating and densely packed Book Festival event on international law, family secrets,…

James Kelman Discusses His New Novel

James Kelman Discusses His New Novel
Sun 21 August 2016

“My intentions,” began James Kelman in typically precise and forthright style, “are to read…

Brix Smith Start Reveals New Record Deal at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Brix Smith Start Reveals New Record Deal at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sun 21 August 2016

Brix Smith Start began with her father. “A Beverly Hills child psychiatrist,” she said, rolling eyes that by the end of this wildly entertaining Book Festival event would be shining with tears…

Trans Author Juliet Jacques Speaks at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Trans Author Juliet Jacques Speaks at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sun 21 August 2016

In recent years the level of interest in trans issues has exploded, something Juliet Jacques confessed she had not anticipated in her fascinating Book Festival event…

Lionel Shriver on Politics and Presidents

Lionel Shriver on Politics and Presidents
Sat 20 August 2016

“I gave Donald Trump the idea for running for President,” Lionel Shriver told her packed Book Festival audience with a wry smile…

Stewart Lee Chats to Ian Rankin at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Stewart Lee Chats to Ian Rankin at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sat 20 August 2016

A feisty chat between Ian Rankin and Stewart Lee at Edinburgh International Book Festival saw the blockbuster crime novelist and revered comic trade insults, anecdotes and peculiar allegations about George Osborne and stationery items…

Stories of War, Flight and Refuge at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Stories of War, Flight and Refuge at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Fri 19 August 2016

Gulwali Passarlay and Wolfgang Bauer both have first-hand experience of the chaotic and perilous routes taken by refugees from the Middle East to Europe…

Alice Oswald Speaks Nature's Secret Language

Alice Oswald Speaks Nature's Secret Language
Fri 19 August 2016

We might tend to think of poets as rather pallid, introspective, indoor types, given to sleeping late and evading the light – but not so Alice Oswald…

Big Ideas Stirred by Little Debate

Big Ideas Stirred by Little Debate
Fri 19 August 2016

Can you fit the state of the States, the future of China, the tumult in the Middle East, Scotland’s status and the backdrop to Brexit into one hour – and one tent?…

Winner of Edwin Morgan Prize Announced At Edinburgh International Book Festival

Winner of Edwin Morgan Prize Announced At Edinburgh International Book Festival
Thu 18 August 2016

The winner of the biennial Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for Scottish poets aged 30 or under, administered by the Scottish Poetry Library, was announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this evening…

First Minister & Makar Talk Poetry, Politics and Paxman

First Minister & Makar Talk Poetry, Politics and Paxman
Thu 18 August 2016

“She thinks she’s Jeremy Paxman,” Jackie Kay told the audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, as she was pushed for answers by her interviewer, who just happened to be Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon…

Syria's Grassroots Movements Discussed at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Syria's Grassroots Movements Discussed at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Thu 18 August 2016

While Western liberals fret about becoming embroiled in regime change, a historic people’s movement to hold a country together is going unsupported, and a brutal dictator tacitly backed…

Man Booker International Prize Winner Makes an Appearance at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Man Booker International Prize Winner Makes an Appearance at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Thu 18 August 2016

In front of an intimate audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, 2016’s Man Booker International Prize winner Han Kang and her British translator Deborah Smith…

Titan of Avant Garde Chinese Writing at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Titan of Avant Garde Chinese Writing at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Thu 18 August 2016

Can Xue’s writings were first translated in the UK in 1989. Yet it has taken until now for this titan of avant-garde Chinese writing to make an appearance in Britain…

Man Booker Prize Nominee A L Kennedy Entertains

Man Booker Prize Nominee A L Kennedy Entertains
Wed 17 August 2016

A L Kennedy began her packed event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival like a consummate stand-up: sharp, suited, self-deprecating, and hilarious…

Rehabilitation, Remorse & Redemption with Erwin James

Rehabilitation, Remorse & Redemption with Erwin James
Wed 17 August 2016

Few of us will ever know as much about prison life as writer Erwin James, who has spoken about his experiences at the Edinburgh International Book Festival…

Edna O'Brien Publishes her 'Masterpiece'

Edna O'Brien Publishes her 'Masterpiece'
Tue 16 August 2016

She is one of the most revered and prolific writers to emerge from her native Ireland, but Edna O’Brien pursued a literary life against the wishes of her family…

Frederick Forsyth Bows Out with his Last Book

Frederick Forsyth Bows Out with his Last Book
Tue 16 August 2016

“Who have I insulted? Who might sue?” Frederick Forsyth wondered as he scanned the manuscript of his new book The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue…

Aberdeen Has Suffered a Calamity says Mike Shepherd

Aberdeen Has Suffered a Calamity says Mike Shepherd
Tue 16 August 2016

One might think that discovering an oil field would be a fairly dramatic business, but geologist Mike Shepherd insists it wasn’t that big a deal…

Tiffany Jenkins Discusses the Repatriation of the Elgin Marbles at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Tiffany Jenkins Discusses the Repatriation of the Elgin Marbles at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Tue 16 August 2016

Academic and writer Tiffany Jenkins asks if repatriating the Elgin Marbles would do more harm than good…

Acclaimed Duo Win James Tait Black Prizes Announced at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Acclaimed Duo Win James Tait Black Prizes Announced at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Mon 15 August 2016

A biography that explores a pivotal year in William Shakespeare’s life and a novel that charts an experiment in utopia in modern-day Detroit have tonight won Britain’s oldest literary awards…

Alaa Al Aswany - A Voice for Egypt at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Alaa Al Aswany - A Voice for Egypt at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Mon 15 August 2016

Alaa Al Aswany is known in his native Egypt for his forceful, clear-eyed take on politics and human rights…

Chris Packham on Ambition, Motivation and Dealing with his Demons

Chris Packham on Ambition, Motivation and Dealing with his Demons
Mon 15 August 2016

Star of BBC's Springwatch Chris Packham enthralled audiences at the Book Festival yesterday with an incredibly frank and fascinating discussion on the natural world and his own life…

Eimear McBride Introduces her New Novel at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Eimear McBride Introduces her New Novel at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sun 14 August 2016

No two ways about it: writing about sex has its challenges. The prudish, the prurient and the judges of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award lie in wait for those brave writers who attempt it…

Theatre of War Connects Ancient & Modern Trauma at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Theatre of War Connects Ancient & Modern Trauma at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sun 14 August 2016

Theatre of War brought a unique hybrid form to the stage of the Edinburgh International Book Festival: a performance of classical Greek tragedy…

Kate Tempest Speaks Up on the Importance of Culture in Troubled Times

Kate Tempest Speaks Up on the Importance of Culture in Troubled Times
Sun 14 August 2016

If you’re already celebrated as a poet, a spoken word performer, a playwright and a hip hop musician, do you really need more strings to your bow?…

Sir Malcolm Rifkind Tackles the Topic of Boris

Sir Malcolm Rifkind Tackles the Topic of Boris
Sun 14 August 2016

The fortunes and follies of Westminster's two dominant political parties following Britain's vote to leave the EU in June were outlined in a warm and witty event with Sir Malcolm Rifkind…

Mervyn King Speaks at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Mervyn King Speaks at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sun 14 August 2016

Lord Mervyn King offered a withering critique of economists, bankers and politicians at the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday…

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi Speaks Out at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi Speaks Out at Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sun 14 August 2016

A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize launched a blistering attack on the government of her native Iran, in an incendiary session at the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival last night…

Scottish Author Ali Smith Opens Edinburgh International Book Festival

Scottish Author Ali Smith Opens Edinburgh International Book Festival
Sat 13 August 2016

Fear, friendship, the forthrightness of childhood and the frenzied politics of summer 2016 all came up for discussion as two of Scotland’s most celebrated writers took the stage for the first blockbuster event of the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival…

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