Edinburgh Book Festival
In just one month’s time the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013 begins once again as part of the fabulous feast of International Arts Festivals which take place across the city. It was in August 1983 when the gates to Charlotte Square Gardens opened to visitors for the inaugural Edinburgh Book Festival, featuring 120 authors including John Updike and P.D. James. Until 1997 it was held biennially, and since then has colourfully blossomed into the largest festival of literature in the world.
The 2013 EIBF programme has 750 events at which an impressive 800 authors will be discussing every subject and literary genre from crime and science fiction, music and theatre, travel and world affairs.
To celebrate 30 years of the Festival, it’s timely to look back at the careers of our nation’s successful writers. In 1983, Granta magazine announced the first Best Young British Novelists, with a new list published every decade. Several of these writers will be here, including Salman Rushdie (1983), Candia McWilliam (1993), A.L Kennedy (2003) as well as newcomer Evie Wyld (2013).
As Scotland is famed for creating legendary comics, such as Dandy and the Beano, it is fitting that a series of events called Stripped will focus on the popularity of graphic novels. Global adventures, past and present is the topic of many events: Julie Davidson has researched the intrepid travel experiences of Mary Livingstone, wife of David Livingstone the African explorer, while Gavin Francis will describe surviving isolation and freezing temperatures in Antarctica.
Best selling novelists, Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Val McDermid, Kate Atkinson, will be there, as well as politicians, journalists, religious leaders, artists, musicians and actors. From 9pm each evening, The Spiegeltent will be the place to gather for a medley of stories, music and comedy under the title, Jura Unbound, presented by Skinny Magazine.
A vital part of the EIBF is the Children’s and Young Adults programme with workshops, storytelling, performances and educational schools’ events. Favourite writers include Julia Donaldson, Debi Gliori, Vivian French, Lari Don, and dozens more, who will entertain and inspire young readers to pick up a book and experience the World in Words.
The overall concept for the Edinburgh Book Festival for adults and children is all about listening to writers and thinkers, to consider and debate for understanding and enrichment.
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Pooh Bear – A. A. Milne