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Edinburgh Book Festival-2011

Edinburgh Book Festival-2011

The World in Words

The Edinburgh International Book Festival launches its programme for 2011 with a diverse collection of events around the theme of Revolution in the 21st Century which promises 17 days of lively debate in Charlotte Square Gardens this August. With Guest Selectors, the return of the debut authors’ award chosen by readers together with prize-winning authors, politicians, journalists and poets and a second year of late night Unbound events, the Book Festival promises a summer of rich discussion, entertainment and inspiration. Read more …

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival said “In this, the year that the new Europe comes of age, popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East are challenging life-long regimes and the world is in a state of change, we will examine the theme of Revolution. From Libya to China, India to Iran, the USA ten years after 9/11 and the recent controversies involving Twitter and Wikileaks, audiences and authors in Charlotte Square Gardens will explore the power of the written word to provide a compelling commentary on the world around us.”

“We will also be celebrating some legends of modern literature. 2011 sees the centenary of the birth of two great poets from opposite ends of Europe - Sorley MacLean and Czeslaw Milosz - and thirty years since the publication of Alasdair Gray’s Lanark. We are delighted that Alasdair will be joining us, not only to open the Book Festival but also on the final evening with a full-length performed reading of his latest work, Fleck, in what is perhaps the most ambitious event we have ever attempted: a world premiere featuring a stellar cast including Liz Lochhead, Will Self, A L Kennedy, Ian Rankin and Alasdair himself. We are very grateful for the support of the Scottish Government's Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund which has allowed us to stage this special event, and to develop a wider programme of performance events in our free ‘Unbound’ programme. “

Packed into the 17 days are almost 800 authors from over 40 countries around the world including the exiled Chinese Nobel Laureate, Gao Xingjian, who will discuss his life and recent work, the giant of American literary postmodernism, Robert Coover, and Sapphire, who will reveal her long-awaited follow-up to Push. Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life - a milestone in American letters - will discuss his life and work with Kirsty Wark while Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond will chair an event with Iain Banks. Tom Devine, Sebastian Barry, John Burnside, Tam Dalyell, Michael Ondaatje and Dava Sobel will launch their new books while A S Byatt, Bettany Hughes, Jonathan Lynn and Janice Galloway will give a sneak preview of their books which launch in September.

In addition to great Scottish writers such as Ali Smith, William McIlvanney, Alan Warner, Candia McWilliam, Andrew O’Hagan, Don Paterson, A L Kennedy, Louise Welsh, Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and Robin Robertson, some of the country’s leading scientific minds, including Keith Campbell and Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, will be touching on the culture of enlightenment and innovation and looking at how Scotland plays a key role in global scientific advancement.

The Edinburgh Book Festival is held in CHARLOTTE SQUARE GARDENS, EDINBURGH, 13 – 29 AUGUST 2011.

More information on this production is available at

Features about Edinburgh Book Festival-2011

Tell us about your Edinburgh international book festival

Hannah Freeman, The Guardian, 12/08/2011

Directing the Edinburgh international book festival

Nick Barley, The Guardian, 12/08/2011

Edinburgh international book festival: writers' picks

The Guardian, 12/08/2011

The Edinburgh International Book Festival 13-29

The Edinburgh Reporter, 13/08/2011

Edinburgh Book Festival keeps up 'quality'

BBC, 13/08/2011

Where and when?

Charlotte Square, Edinburgh from Saturday August 13, 2011, until Monday August 29, 2011. See website for details of events. More info:

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