We are always on the lookout for Edinburgh news, and of course the mere fact that the book festival takes place here makes it one of our summer topics. But there is also an Edinburgh presence in the form of authors who live here, who were born here and who write here.
Here is a selection :
Edinburgh’s own Julia Donaldson, author of Gruffalo, appears at two events the first on 10 August 2019 in The New York Times Main Theatre speaking with Catherine Rayner about picture books for an audience of 4 to 7 year-olds. This will be a performance of drawing, singing and dancing – an appropriate beginning for the 2019 festival as this is one of the first events. Then at the end of the festival on 24 August 2019 Donaldson appears again speaking with Axel Scheffler the other part of the Gruffalo team telling the tale of the Smeds and Smoos for an audience of 4-7 year olds.
Edinburgh born supermodel Eunice Olumide will discuss race and identity with actress Zawe Ashton, US author and Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead and former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman.
Susan Tomes is a concert pianist based in Edinburgh. She writes on the joys of playing the piano in Speaking the Piano. Susan will appear on 13 August 2019 at the Spark Theatre offering advice to pianists of all levels, arguing that music deserves a more prominent role in the school curriculum. Her husband Robert Philip writes about orchestral music in his book The Classical Music Lover’s Companion to Orchestral Music, taking the mystery out of it and explaining what it means. He appears at the same theatre on 12 August in Music to your Ears. We interviewed Robert Philip here.
Christopher Brookmyre (we know – he lives in Glasgow….) is one sixth of the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers band along with Edinburgh based Val McDermid. He appears in the main theatre on 12 August talking about his new standalone thriller, Fallen Angel.
Edinburgh Central MSP Ruth Davidson will speak with Olympic athlete Dame Katherine Grainger about her latest book Yes She Can which is described as a treatise on inspirational women. She is making her Book Festival debut.
Alexander McCall-Smith appears no fewer than four times. He is there on the first day talking with illustrator Iain McIntosh. They will take you aboard the School Ship Tobermory and discuss their latest book in the series The Secret of the Dark Waterfall. On 14 August McCall Smith us the Charm Scholar in The New York Times Main Theatre when he will discuss The Second Worst Restaurant in France and The Peppermint Tea Chronicles, the latest book in the 44 Scotland Street series. He has so much to talk about it will be difficult to fit in a mention of Mma Ramotswe but we are sure he will try! Then he will appear on 21 August talking about his latest books in an hour which will no doubt be strewn with his wit and charm.
Celebrating Hamish Henderson on 14 August in the Spiegeltent is an event called Hamish Matters. This is a fitting venue for a celebration of the poet and musician so central to Edinburgh’s cultural scene and who died in 2002. The Darg, an anthology of poems inspired by Henderson, is being launched at the Festival by The Poets’ Republic Press.
Do remember to look out for Unbound with Edinburgh Gin which is Live Literary Cabaret each evening in the Spiegeltent from 9.00pm.
Fifer Val McDermid now lives in Edinburgh and we have adopted her as our own. The crime writer has curated a series of events featuring Ali Smith, Kamila Shamsie, Nayrouz Qarmout and Karine Polwart to talk about homelessness and the meaning of home for migrants and refugees. She will also play with her band The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers in Edinburgh (and Glastonbury!).
Macastory will take families and children 7 years old and up on a walking tour of Charlotte Square and George Street to discover the weird and wonderful tales from within the residences there. Who were the New Town characters of the past? Interactive walking tour.
In association with Craigmillar Books for Babies with Polish Rhymetime on Monday 19 August there will be a half hour of storytelling suitable for children of all ages in the Are You Sitting Comfortably? series of early morning events.
Also on 19 August there is an adaptation of the Edinburgh lore Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab when the Portuguese director and theatre maker Oscar Silva will discuss the development process with Dougie Irvine Artistic Director of Visible Fictions Theatre Company.
Olympian Sir Chris Hoy brings Fergus his magical bike riding boy to the festival with Flying Fergus 10 : The Photo Finish!