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Graphic journalist Joe Sacco appearing as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

1 Aug 2013

Sacco appears as part of the Festival's Stripped comics strand

In its championing of an entire medium within this year’s inaugural Stripped strand, there’s an implied sense that EIBF are trying to further erode the tiresome conceit that stories told with words and pictures are just for kids by placing them closer…

Will Storr to discuss irrational beliefs at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

1 Aug 2013

'Atheist-sceptics are just as vulnerable to the processes of bias and assumption as the rest of us'

For Will Storr it started with the question 'why don't facts work?' The result is The Heretics, his entertaining and insightful investigation into why people hold irrational beliefs, often in the face of overwhelming evidence. 'You go into a project…

Writer, composer and performer George Lewkowicz presents Superbard: The Flood

1 Aug 2013

The multimedia spoken word performance will take place at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Superbard, a futuristic storyteller played by writer, composer and performer George Lewkowicz, returns for his fourth consecutive Fringe appearance with this spoken-word show, imagining an apocalyptic future through stories of characters surviving in a…

Adam Thirlwell discusses Multiples, '12 Stories in 18 Languages by 61 Authors'

1 Aug 2013

Thirlwell will be joined by contributors John Banville and Nadeem Aslam at the 2013 Book Festival

'Twelve stories in eighteen languages by sixty-one authors' boasts the cover of Multiples, a book that sets out to experiment with everything that is gained and lost in the process of translation. The project was conceived and edited by British…

American authors Philipp Meyer and Patrick Flanery offer a glimpse of the corrupted American Dream

1 Aug 2013

The pair appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013 event As Dreams Become Nightmares

In an event intriguingly titled As Dreams Become Nightmares, American writers Philipp Meyer and Patrick Flanery team up to discuss their latest novels. Both books, Flanery's Fallen Land and Meyer's The Son, examine the American Dream and its darker…

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High-flying start to Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

30 Jul 2013

Aidan Moffat, Cora Bissett and Louise Welsh announced as part of Games culture programme

Aidan Moffat, Cora Bissett, Louise Welsh and Tam Dean Burn are just a clutch of the Scottish names taking part in a jam-packed line-up of cultural events to celebrate the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The year-long programme will be split into two…

Interview: Julie McDowall, author of internet dating memoir Casting the Net

19 Jul 2013

The debut author discusses infatuation, depression and obsession

Evil clowns, The Butcher Boy and infatuation: all par for the course with Julie McDowall. Her debut, Casting the Net, follows her hectic time on the online dating scene. Sharp, vibrant and feisty, the novel is a candid insight into one woman’s…

Mark Cousins' letter to legendary British filmmaker Nic Roeg

19 Jul 2013

Legendary British filmmaker Roeg has just published his autobiography, The World is Ever Changing

Dear Nicolas Roeg, So you’re thinking of coming to Edinburgh. Will you travel up from London by train? I imagine you staring out the window as England whizzes past in Turner blurs and Constable clusters. Do you still look at landscapes as the…

Flash Fiction: Natural History by Wayne Price

19 Jul 2013

The newest instalment in our series of ultra-short stories

Early in the morning and again in the evening, rain or shine, they cross the fields and woods behind the allotments where the houses end. In summer they cross the paths of early-morning joggers and walkers of dogs like the shadows of small birds – too…

Programme of summer events scheduled to remember Iain Banks

19 Jul 2013

The late author is being paid tribute to at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

In happy news, brought on by the saddest of events, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust has brought together programmers from across the city to create an Iain Banks season, kicking off at the end of the month with the Iain Banks Book Quiz on Thu…

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John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell - March (Book One)

19 Jul 20134 stars

The US politician's graphic novel autobiography is a significant achievement in comics

March has made comics history. It’s the first graphic novel to be written by a US Congressman, Democrat John Lewis, and it’s the first to be endorsed by a US President, Bill Clinton. Co-written with his communications chef Andrew Aydin, March is an…

Olivia Laing - The Trip to Echo Spring: Why Writers Drink

19 Jul 20134 stars

There’s a fear, given the title, that this seeks to romanticise alcoholism, positioning writers as tortured geniuses set apart from ‘ordinary’ people. Thankfully, Laing allays this fear. The Trip to Echo Spring is a nuanced and heartbreaking book…

Michael Cannon - Four New Words For Love

17 Jul 20134 stars

Glaswegian author Michael Cannon’s latest novel explores friendship

Gina, a homeless and troubled young woman from Glasgow and Christopher an elderly, lonely widower meet by chance on Waterloo Bridge. After offering Gina a room, the two quickly form a friendship. But when Gina suddenly disappears, Christopher travels to…

The best shows at the 2013 Edinburgh Festivals

16 Jul 2013

20 highlights from the 2013 festival programmes, covering Fringe, Books, International, Art and Jazz

We’ve scanned the thousands of shows, exhibitions and events across the festival in late July, August and early September, and highlight the ones that simply cannot be missed

1980s British pop - The ideological and musical battles of the decade we can't seem to recover from

16 Jul 2013

As Tracey Thorn and John Taylor hit the Edinburgh Book Festival, Alan Bissett explores 80s pop music

Where the case is more clear for other decades of British pop glory – leaping with Beatles, Bolans and Blurs – the jury’s still very much out on the 80s. When American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman dismisses Peter Gabriel’s Genesis (‘too artsy’) in favour of…

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Glyn Dillon set for appearance at 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival

16 Jul 2013

The writer/artist returns to the graphic novel medium with a bang

The Nao of Brown is a gorgeous, big, chunky, stunning graphic novel. It’s also a deep and evocative portrayal of a young girl’s battle with OCD as she fights against her own fears, damping down the vicious and violent urges that bubble up within her…

James Lasdun to appear at 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival

16 Jul 2013

Renowned author on internet abuse and being on the receiving end of cyber stalking

For most of the last ten years, James Lasdun has logged on to his computer with emotions alternating between hesitation and fear. The object of an internet stalker who has variously attempted to ruin his reputation by publicising false rumours, spread…

Comics and graphic novel highlight at the Stripped strand of the Edinburgh Book Festival

16 Jul 2013

Hannah Berry, Stephen Collins, Posy Simmonds and Gareth Brookes among highlights

Hannah Berry. Writer/artist Berry’s first graphic novel, Britten and Brülightly, was a dark whodunit which she followed up with Adamtime, a horror tale packed with mystery. Her stark style is complemented by black and white art for a grim, noir world…

Strong food theme at 2013 North Berwick festival Fringe by the Sea

16 Jul 2013

Chef Neil Forbes, Moroccan cuisine and Belhaven Brewery set for town's harbour

The ice-cream cones on the front cover of Fringe By The Sea’s programme are the first hint at this year’s strong food theme. Besides the always-tempting option of braving the gallus seagulls of East Lothian, going al fresco and taking fish and chips…

Further Edinburgh festivals you might not have heard of

16 Jul 2013

Forest Fringe, JUST Festival and the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival. Zipping in and out before August has arrived, the Fashion Festival aims to build on a cracking 2012 debut. Among the names and organisations featured are Clements Ribeiro, Amanda Harlech, Bella Freud, National…

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Programme highlights from the 2013 Edinburgh Book festival

16 Jul 2013

Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Coe and Alexander McCall Smith among guests at EIBF

Salman Rushdie. One of the original Best of Young British Novelists reflects on a golden career marred by that fatwa. Margaret Atwood. We’re spoilt for choice by the Canadian this year as she chats variously about The Blind Assassin, Scottish horror and…

Provocateur author highlights at the 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival

16 Jul 2013

Laurie Penny, Shereen el Feki, John Gray among those who might ruffle some feathers during EIBF

Laurie Penny. Describing herself as ‘young, angry and progressive’, Penny has ruffled some feathers. But can 67,000 Twitter followers be wrong? Shereen el Feki. While researching Sex and the Citadel, el Feki travelled from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and…

Arne Dahl and Alex Gray discuss Nordic noir at 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival

15 Jul 2013

Writers discuss Intercrime and The Swedish Girl

The Nordic noir phenomenon continues apace and Arne Dahl (AKA author and critic Jan Arnald) is leading the way with a series of novels which were recently adapted and shown on BBC Four. On stage to discuss his Intercrime series, he is joined by Scottish…

Top 5: Books that inspired songs

11 Jul 2013

Books that have inspired songs, including Perfume, Ghost World, Pale Fire and Paradise Lost

When Oasis broke down en route to T in the Park, the AA offered Noel Gallagher space for two people in their van – he took Simon Mason, the 'Rock 'N' Roll Doctor', and left the rest of the band stranded on the hard shoulder. Bruvs before drugs, Noel. To…

Ben Brooks - Lolito

11 Jul 20134 stars

A charming exploration of love by witty authentic teenage voice

If you enjoyed Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ll love this latest novel by Ben Brooks. An unconventional love story that is both twisted and tender, centring on…