In a fast-paced world filled with ever-changing soundbites and 140 character opinions, the Edinburgh International Book Festival provides the perfect environment to carefully consider the society in which we live. In 2012 the Book Festival will rethink some of the issues facing the world today, offering audiences the opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussion with leading writers from across the globe. Charlotte Square Gardens will welcome Nobel Laureates, Booker and Pulitzer Prize winners and Poets Laureate as well as a stellar line up of the world’s leading writers, poets, thinkers and commentators. With Guest Selectors, the Anobii First Book Award, the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, the gamut of outstanding authors from Ali Smith to Zadie Smith, and a third year of the late night Unbound events, the Book Festival promises a summer of contemplation, inspiration and entertainment.
Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival said In 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland, we are delighted to showcase some of the best Scottish writing, from well-established authors to debut novelists, as well as welcoming some extraordinary literary talent from around the world to help us rethink aspects of society that affect our everyday lives. This is a year for taking stock about what matters to us in a time of uncertainty, doubt and data overload. It is also, of course, a time when Scotland is preparing to make a big decision about its own future. All this and more will be discussed, deliberated, considered, broadcast live online via the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, and disseminated around the world – we look forward to a lively, informed and informative debate.
In Edinburgh to launch their brand new books will be Ian McEwan, James Kelman, Will Self, Pankaj Mishra, Pat Barker, Gavin Esler and Louise Welsh while Zadie Smith, Howard Jacobson, Val McDermid and A N Wilson will offer exclusive previews of their forthcoming novels. Joining them in a packed programme will be over 800 authors appearing in 750 events and representing 44 different countries from Australia to Russia, Argentina to Nigeria. The prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize will be announced at the Book Festival, together with the Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize and the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year award. Former
Prime Minister Gordon Brown will deliver the National Library of Scotland’s Donald Dewar Lecture and John McCarthy will speak at the inaugural Frederick Hood Memorial Lecture.
August 2012 will see the publication of Elsewhere, four themed volumes of new writing from fifty internationally acclaimed authors including Amy Bloom, Roddy Doyle, Ali Smith and Michael Morpurgo. Elsewhere was commissioned in 2010 by the Book Festival, with the support of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, and its publication marks an innovative publishing and design collaboration between Glasgow-based publisher Cargo and US-based McSweeney’s.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: "The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the world's biggest celebration of the written word - showcasing Scotland on an international stage and promoting our exceptional cultural, creative and literary talent to authors and readers from around the world. "The Scottish Government is firmly committed to increasing learning through the arts and culture, and building on our global reputation for creative excellence. That is why, during 2012 - The Year of Creative Scotland, I am delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference, and why I announced this week that
Scotland will host its first national celebration of reading during 'Book Week Scotland' later this year."
The RBS Children’s Programme will delight young readers of all ages with appearances from some of today’s best-loved children’s authors. Jacqueline Wilson will offer an exclusive sneak preview of her re-interpretation of the classic Five Children and It, while Andrew Motion will be reading from his sequel to Treasure Island and Frank Cottrell Boyce from his sequel to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Val McDermid will present her first book for children, and a wealth of international authors will include Shaun Tan, Garth Nix and Margo Lanagan from
Australia, Kathryn Erskine from the USA and the French illustrator Stephane-Yves Barroux.
The Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from Saturday 11 August to Monday 27 August in Charlotte
Square Gardens in the heart of Edinburgh. Tickets go on sale on Friday 29 June at 8.30am: online at
www.edbookfest.co.uk, by phone on 0845 373 5888 or in person on Friday 29 June only at the Roxburghe
Hotel, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, and from Saturday 30 June to Thursday 9 August, Monday to Saturday
10.00am to 5.00pm (Friday 10 August 10.00am to 2.00pm) at The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh then at the Box
Office in Charlotte Square Gardens from Saturday 11 August.