Rory Stewart and James Acaster Added to 2019 Book Festival Line-Up

Organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival today announced four new events for the 2019 Festival.    Conservative politician Rory Stewart discusses what Brexit Britain can learn from the world of literature, comedian James Acaster introduces his hotly-anticipated memoir and the Festival celebrates the life and work of the inimitable writer and illustrator Judith Kerr.  In a special event in partnership with BBC Radio 2’s Book Club a panel including Alexander McCall Smith and Kit de Waal discuss The Novels that Shaped Our World.

Despite coming fourth in the Conservative Party’s leadership contest, Rory Stewart has emerged as one of this strange Summer’s surprise political winners. The International Development Secretary’s refreshing honesty and viral Twitter campaigning won him admirers across the political spectrum – and a growing sense that he is a future leader. On Monday 26 August at 5.00pm event Stewart talks to Guardian Chief Culture Writer Charlotte Higgins about what Brexit Britain can learn from the world of literature.

Thanks to his singular style, James Acaster has become one of Britain’s funniest and most revered stand-up comedians, with five nominations for the Edinburgh Comedy Award to his name. In a special late-night event on Wednesday 21 August at 10.00pm he discusses his memoir, Perfect Sound Whatever - a love letter to the healing power of music, and how one man's obsessive quest saw him defeat the bullshit of one year with the beauty of another, with writer, performer and ‘stand-up poet’ Rob Auton.

The inimitable writer and illustrator Judith Kerr died earlier this year. Her books have been read and loved by generations and her influence on today’s young artists and authors is profound. Author and critic Daniel Hahn is joined by literary agent Lindsey Fraser and illustrators Eilidh Muldoon, Catherine Rayner, Tom Morgan-Jones and Kate Leiper for a heartfelt tribute to this artist and her work on Tuesday 20 August at 4.00pm. 

To mark the 300th anniversary of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe a new BBC television series to be broadcast this autumn will explore The Novels that Shaped Our World.  Ahead of the series, BBC Radio 2’s Book Club will be asking guests to discuss their favourites, from the established classics to the popular contemporary hits. Stig Abell, journalist and editor of the Times Literary Supplement, is joined by novelists Alexander McCall Smith and Kit de Waal in this special event chaired by producer and radio presenter Joe Haddow on Friday 9 August at 11.30am in the Book Festival’s Spark Theatre on George Street.

Tickets for all four events are now available through the Book Festival website, by phone 0345 373 5888 or in person at the Box Office at The Hub, Castlehill.

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