Welcome to the Book Festival
Conversations with the International Booker Prize Shortlist
In a weekly series of conversations with the shortlisted authors and translators, our partnership with the International Booker Prize presents some of the most stimulating and thought-provoking writers and thinkers from across the world who have been published in translation this year. The results range from an unforgettable examination of memory and the colourful life of a Jewish family in Soviet Russia, to a speculative novel set on a spaceship 200 years into the future, which asks deep questions about the very meaning of human life.
The events with the shortlisted authors and translators will be broadcast live here on the website every week in the run-up to the announcement of the International Booker Prize winner on 2 June. This is a rare opportunity to explore how novels are charting the progress of human history while it’s still in the eye of a storm. The line-up and event details are below.
Lost in Space
Thursday 29 April 19:30 - 20:30
Mining the Human Spirit
Thursday 6 May 19:30 - 20:30
On Which Side of the Frontline Does the Enemy Lie?
Thursday 13 May 19:30 - 20:30
A Fistful of Equations
Thursday 20 May 19:30 - 20:30
Things We Can’t Remember, Things We Can’t Forget
Tuesday 25 May 19:30 - 20:30
Privilege, Tyranny and the Voices of the Unheard
Thursday 27 May 19:30 - 20:30
We’re staging a hybrid Book Festival in 2021 – a lovely big online programme streamed live. Alongside this, and if circumstances permit, we hope to have some events you can attend in-person. This year’s Book Festival will take place from Saturday 14 to Monday 30 August at our new Festival home: the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh College of Art.
For anyone unfamiliar with our new venue, the beautiful, accessible buildings and grassy, open outdoor spaces that make up the Edinburgh College of Art, reside on Lauriston Place in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. With magnificent views of Edinburgh Castle, the College is just a short stroll from the Grassmarket, with excellent transport links to the rest of the city.
The next Edinburgh International Book Festival will take place from 14-30 August 2021. The programme will be announced in late June. Sign up for our ebulletins or follow us on social media to hear announcements and updates.
In the meantime, you can enjoy watching Festival events on the website, have a look at our Festival photographs, listen to or download free podcasts of event recordings and watch exclusive interviews and Festival highlights from past Book Festivals on our YouTube channel and your favourite podcast platforms.
Tom Fletcher event, December 2019
Look, Listen & read
This film illustrates the challenges faced by the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2020 and great achievements made during a difficult year for the cultural sector. Narrated by the Chair of the Book Festival's Board, Allan Little and featuring some of the team who made the Festival happen…