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Interview: Rachel McCrum and Jenny Lindsay talk poetry at the Edinburgh Festivals 2014

15 Aug 2014

Poets are popping up all over the capital this august, including Luke Wright and Hollie McNish

Between the crowds, the queues, the small-hours bedtimes and the daytime drinking, moments of poetic transcendence don’t necessarily come high on the August-in-Edinburgh agenda. But those familiar with Edinburgh’s dynamic live literature and spoken word…

The best Martin Amis books

12 Aug 2014

Five of the best Martin Amis novels ahead of writer's appearance at 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

Money (1984) The novel that defined a decade, Money is a sustained, exuberant, and viciously funny assault on the excesses of the 1980s and the hollow promises of late 20th-century capitalism. Narrated by one of the great comic grotesques of English…

Chaos Walking author Patrick Ness set for 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival appearance

15 Aug 2014

Key writer in British young adult fiction scene discusses new novel More Than This

Chaos Walking author and Book Festival favourite Patrick Ness will soon deliver the first Siobhan Dowd Trust Memorial Lecture. He tells Paul Gallagher why truth in storytelling is more important than ever. Patrick Ness is one of the shining lights of…

Profile: Mike Carey set for two appearances at 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

15 Aug 2014

Comic writer to discuss recent novels The Unwritten and The Girl With All the Gifts

Liverpool-born, Oxford-educated Mike Carey was a teacher for fifteen years before he broke into comics, but since then his workrate has been prolific across a wide range of titles, from underground, creator-owned efforts to some of the ‘Big Two’s…

Five things we learned about George R R Martin

15 Aug 2014

Unusual facts about Games of Thrones author revealed at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

He's heavily influenced by Scottish history. A number of Scotland's historical events have moulded elements of Game of Thrones, with the infamous Red Wedding scene inspired by the Glencoe Massacre. Beyond events, he admits that The Wall was inspired by…

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Scott Pilgrim writer Bryan Lee O'Malley to attend Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

14 Aug 2014

The graphic novelist attends the fest to discuss his new project, Seconds

Canadian comics artist Bryan Lee O’Malley is the writer and illustrator of the bestselling Scott Pilgrim series, a six-volume epic that established him as a master at combining intimate, personal characterisation with fantastical storytelling on a huge…

John Boyne - A History of Loneliness

17 Aug 20144 stars

Strong, emotive work exploring child abuse in the Church

This latest offering from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas author John Boyne deals with revelations of child abuse in the Church. It’s a powerful meditation on a deeply distressing issue from which his audience is not censored. As the narrative darts…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: BJ Novak of the US Office on debut short story collection One More Thing

15 Aug 2014

'There’s a story in my book called “Regret is Just Perfectionism Plus Time". That’s how I feel'

If you’ve ever watched the US series of The Office, BJ Novak’s face will be instantly recognisable as obnoxious temp Ryan Howard. A producer, writer and actor on the show (he landed the gig aged just 25, after producer Greg Daniels saw him at a comedy…

Dystopian graphic novel IDP 2043 events set for 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

15 Aug 2014

Collaborative work featuring contributions from Irvine Welsh, Denise Mina and Pat Mills

Charlotte Square went mad for comics last year – so much so, they’ve collaborated with Freight Books on a new graphic novel. David Pollock finds out more.

This weekend at the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival: Fri 15–Sun 17 Aug

15 Aug 2014

Highlights include Julian Cope, Katy Brand, Gordon Brown and Maggie O'Farrell

Friday’s highlights include Julian Cope, one of contemporary music’s most interesting chaps – as well as one of the busiest, judging by his output as a musician, author, historian, antiquarian, cultural commentator, and now, novelist. He'll be talking…

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Sweet Potato and Callaloo: Voices from the Caribbean Diaspora

15 Aug 20145 stars

Project exploring Scotland's role in slave trade, featuring Dorothea Smartt and Millicent AA Graham

Fresh from their appearances at The Empire Cafe, a remarkable project exploring Glasgow and Scotland's under-acknowledged role in the transatlantic slave trade, come four poets from the Caribbean Diaspora. Warmly introduced by Scottish poet Jackie Kay…

Interview: Journalist Sid Lowe on Spanish football ahead of 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival appearance

14 Aug 2014

Author of Fear and Loathing in La Liga, which explored rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid

It’s not often that a book about football comes along which blurs the lines between a story of the beautiful game, political intrigue and historical epic, but Sid Lowe has done exactly that this year with Fear and Loathing in La Liga. Telling the story…

Haruki Murakami - Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

14 Aug 20143 stars

Welcome addition for fans, but one that never quite reaches the heights it could do

There aren't many writers whose novel launches can be classed as an event, but Haruki Murakami is one of the few who fit the category. When Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage, his 13th novel, launched in Japan last year it sold a…

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Ned Beauman

14 Aug 2014

Th award-winning author of Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident discusses his latest, Glow

Ned Beauman is sticking it to the man. Not in the literal sense of waving two fingers at those who have found his latest novel Glow not as good as his previous two offerings, Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident, but more in emphasising – in his…

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Kevin Eldon

14 Aug 2014

The comedian, actor and writer discusses his biography of eerily similar poet Paul Hamilton

‘It's all a bit subjective isn't it, poetry?’ asks Kevin Eldon, comedian and well-known face around cult television comedy shows like Big Train and Brass Eye. ‘Well, everything is really. Subjective. Even that opinion.’ He’s discussing the poetry of his…

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Interview: Vagenda creators Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Cosslett launch A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media

14 Aug 2014

The feminist bloggers are attending both the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Book Fringe

Feminist heroines or ‘smug’ and ‘anti-women’? The editors of hugely popular website The Vagenda are used to raising eyebrows. Now the blog has spawned a book – The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media. Fed up of simply laughing at women's…

Profile: Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series

14 Aug 2014

The author appears at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

Diana Gabaldon is the Arizona-based author of the Outlander books series, a historical-fantasy-time travel mash-up of epic proportions begun in 1991. Now into its eighth instalment, it’s amassed global sales of over 20 million copies and she’s appearing…

Norwegian Wood or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle? The top 5 Haruki Murakami books

14 Aug 2014

The Japanese author is set to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

Norwegian Wood (1987) In his fifth novel Murakami swapped the magic realism that marked his early work for a complex 60s-set love story with a narrative that sweeps along on a wave of affecting melancholy. This was the book that brought Murakami to the…

Legendary New York spoken word night The Moth coming to Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

14 Aug 2014

The live true storytelling event will feature Omid Djalili, Andrew Solomon and Lynn Ferguson

A literary phenomenon in its New York home for many years now, The Moth’s fame is extending rapidly overseas, partly through the open mic StorySLAMs in approaching 20 international cities that it uses to gather stories. Making its second ever appearance…

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Lynne Segal on ageing and feminism

14 Aug 2014

‘It’s women who are aged faster by culture and discarded sooner as undesirable'

’I don’t feel old,’ was the most common response author, academic and long-time socialist-feminist Lynne Segal would receive when researching her new book Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing. She describes this as ‘temporal vertigo’, noting…

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Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Natalie Haynes on her debut novel

14 Aug 2014

The comedian turned author promises The Amber Fury is 'not funny. I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone'

‘It had to be set in Edinburgh,’ says stand-up comedian turned author, Natalie Haynes, about her debut novel, The Amber Fury, a story of grief, interwoven with the Greek tragedies, published earlier this year. ‘It sets the right tone for a thriller.

Kirsty Logan: author of ‘quirky, vivid, lush, wild and magical' fairytales

14 Aug 2014

The Scottish author is set to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Kirsty Logan was living in Glasgow, publishing the occasional short story and poem online and in literary magazines, and she’d just been appointed books editor at The List. Fast forward 12 months and a bit, and…

Take Five interview: Glasgow author Kirsty Logan

14 Aug 2014

The fairytale creator is due to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

Five words to describe your storytelling style Quirky, vivid, lush, wild, magical. Four authors who we should really know about, but probably don't (yet) Emily Mackie. Elaine di Rollo. Dawn West. Caroline Bird. Three themes you find yourself…

Interview: Mary Talbot on writing about Suffragette movement ahead of 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival event

12 Aug 2014

Graphic novel Sally Heathcoate: Suffragette explores militant campaign to give women in the vote

Sally Heathcoate: Suffragette is the follow-up to Mary and Bryan Talbot's Costa Award winning graphic novel The Dotter of Her Father's Eyes. Created in collaboration with Edinburgh-based illustrator Kate Charlesworth, it explores the militant campaign…

Iain MacWhirter: After the Referendum - Sat 9 Aug 2014

12 Aug 20144 stars

Clear-sighted analysis of Scottish independence referendum from experienced political journalist

'What would happen if Putin invaded an independent Scotland?' asks one tweedy doomsayer of Iain MacWhirter. 'You can't be serious,' the political journalist laughs, 'Are you a Yes campaign plant?' That apocalyptic warning aside, this event, chaired by…