Fiction at its Finest

Fiction at its Finest

When world events feel outside our control, where can we go to find some perspective? The best stories – the ones that linger in the memory long after the last page is turned – allow us to process big issues slowly. These are the stories which teach us more about ourselves and the world we live in. That give us those vital moments of clarity and understanding. That not only put us in the shoes of others but help us feel the tingling of another’s skin. From debut novelists to giants of literature: hear from some of the world’s finest writers of fiction.

 

Nona Fernández: Imagination Meets Evil

Saturday 13 August 12:15 - 13:15

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One of a generation of Chilean writers who grew up under the brutal dictatorship of General Pinochet, Nona Fernández offers new perspectives on history. She appears at the Festival for the first time, discussing her novel The Twilight Zone –...
 

Nick Drnaso: Drawing Inspiration

Saturday 13 August 13:30 - 14:30

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  • Watch online
If graphic novels have historically been overlooked by the literary establishment, then Nick Drnaso’s work is changing things. Sabrina was the first graphic novel to be longlisted for the Booker Prize. Now Acting Class confirms Drnaso as one of...
 

Mohsin Hamid: What Does it Mean to Be White?

Saturday 13 August 14:30 - 15:30

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  • Watch online
Mohsin Hamid joins us on our opening day to discuss The Last White Man. This blistering novel sees Anders, a white man, wake up to find he has turned a ‘deep and undeniable brown’, with clear echoes of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Hamid’s previous...
 

Ali Smith with Val McDermid: Hello!

Saturday 13 August 17:30 - 18:30

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  • Watch online
  • BSL interpreted
  • Captioned
In Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet, readers were treated to something rarely seen since Dickens: novels engaging with events as they unfolded – including Brexit, migration and climate change. With Companion Piece, Smith takes another bracing dive into...
 

David Keenan: Nothing is Real in Airdrie

Saturday 13 August 20:30 - 21:30

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In a new novel set in the same hallucinatory world as This Is Memorial Device, David Keenan imagines 1960s Airdrie in Industry of Magic and Light. Record collector Teddy Ohm is part of a cult lightshow which creates ‘happenings’. But in making light...
 

Claire Askew & Salena Godden: Life and Death

Sunday 14 August 14:15 - 15:15

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Meet two writers who are forging their own paths. Claire Askew’s second collection, How to Burn a Woman, is a tale of power and resilience. She’s joined today by poet and writer Salena Godden, whose debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death is a daring,...
 

Vesna Goldsworthy & Kim Thúy: Stories of Exile

Sunday 14 August 15:30 - 16:30

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Meet citizens of exile in two startlingly topical novels about the traumas of displacement. Serbian writer and poet Vesna Goldsworthy follows a daughter of the elite from a Soviet satellite state to London in the 1980s. But freedom swiftly leads to...
 

Meg Mason: Femme Fatalistic

Sunday 14 August 15:45 - 16:45

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  • Watch online
Meg Mason’s breakout bestselling novel of love, family and mental health, Sorrow and Bliss, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and dubbed ‘the book you have to read this summer’ by the Evening Standard. Comparisons have arisen to...
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Three authors are brought together to reimagine resistance. Sequoia Nagamatsu’s debut How High We Go in the Dark shows us a world changed by plague – and humanity’s unending will to survive. The Cuckoo Cage, which Courttia Newland contributed to,...
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The Bloomsbury Group of writers, artists and thinkers retain an enduring fascination for their creative and sexual liberation. Merve Emre’s annotated edition of Mrs Dalloway reveals Virginia Woolf and company afresh, through commentary and images...