'Awe-Inspiring' Array Of Writers At Edinburgh International Book Festival

13 June 2017, 10:00

Ian Rankin Author

Paul Auster, Zadie Smith and Ian Rankin will be among the "awe-inspiring'' array of writers appearing at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival, organisers have announced.

The event will feature more than 1,000 participants from over 50 countries who will examine issues including politics, gender, diversity and identity.

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will debate the role of women in the world with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon while Andrew O'Hagan will deliver a keynote lecture on the future of Scotland.

Others coming to Edinburgh to tell their own personal stories include foreign correspondent John Simpson, journalists Anna Pasternak and Jeremy Paxman, actors Stephen McGann and Charlotte Rampling, and Baroness Warsi, the UK's first Muslim member of the Cabinet.

Others appearing during the event, which runs from August 12 - 28, include writers Tracy Chevalier, Will Self, Joanne Harris and former business secretary Vince Cable.

As Edinburgh celebrates the 70th anniversary of its festivals, the Book Festival is expanding from Charlotte Square into George Street and staging showcase events in the King's Theatre and St Mary's Cathedral in the West End.

Unveiling the programme on Tuesday, Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: "Seventy years on from the first Edinburgh Festival, the need for artists and performers to come together in celebration of free speech and the power of creativity is as great as it has ever been.

"Against a backdrop of political earthquakes, this year's Book Festival proudly presents an awe-inspiring international array of writers who are closely observing the changing world and - to paraphrase the poet Emily Dickinson - telling it slant.''

This year influential and successful women from the worlds of sport, politics, business and entertainment are celebrated in a series of events entitled This Woman Can.

Yazidi teenager Farida Khalaf will tell the story of being kidnapped and sold into slavery by Isis in 2014, while politician Harriet Harman and tennis coach Judy Murray are among the others appearing.

The Book Festival will feature writers from around the world including Nicole Krauss, Peter Hoeg, Colm Toibin, Sebastian Barry and Bernard MacLaverty.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir from Iceland and Arne Dahl from Sweden are among the 62 crime writers appearing in 2017, along with UK writers such as Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Alex Gray and Lin Anderson.

The Festival also uses performance and music to explore books on stage and this year, in a new partnership with Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre, takes three books - Amy Liptrot's The Outrun, Graeme Macrae Burnet's His Bloody Project and James Kelman's Dirt Road to create short dramatic presentations on stage in Charlotte Square Gardens.

Meanwhile the Baillie Gifford Children's Programme offers a host of events for young people.

Anthony Horowitz will introduce the latest instalment of his Alex Rider adventures while Olympian Sir Chris Hoy will recount the adventures of Flying Fergus.

Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson launches her brand new book The Ugly Five while Cressida Cowell, Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and Julian Clary will also be appearing.

Tickets to all events go on sale at 8.30am on Tuesday June 20.

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