Edinburgh International Book Festival 2023 Programme Released

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Edinburgh International Book Festival programme highlights.

R.F. Kuang and Alice Oseman join national treasures Irvine Welsh and Jackie Kay in Edinburgh for its yearly International Book Festival.

Taking place from Saturday, 12 August until Monday, 28 August, the Scottish capital is once again inviting over 500 writers and thinkers from around the world to host events for all ages.

Who to Look Out For

Jackie Kay, The University of Stirling alumni and Laureate, is kicking off the first afternoon of the festival to introduce her new poetry collection A Life in Protest.

The collection is about her personal encounters with protesting and political activism as a gay black woman in Scotland. She also explores the political journey of her family.

Irvine Welsh is joining John King and Alan Warner on the evening of Saturday, 12 August to discuss the second instalment of their joint novel The Seal Club, consisting of three stories from the characters of their debut novels.

Image Credit: Essex Book Festival

Alice Oseman, of Heartstopper fame, is arriving in Edinburgh on Saturday, 19 August.

Following the popularity of Heartstopper: Volume Four last year, Oseman takes the stage in Edinburgh to tease Heartstopper: Volume Five and recount her career thus far – from gaining her first publishing deal at age 17 to her collaboration with Netflix in 2021.

Alice Oseman with 'Heartstopper'. She is speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Image Credit: Instagram/@aliceoseman

James Kelman was the first Scot to win the prestigious Booker Prize for How Late It Was, How Late. He is joining audiences 30 years after that win to discuss his newest work God’s Teeth and Other Phenomena on Sunday, 20 August.

Former PM Gordon Brown will speak on Wednesday, 23 August about the impact of the cost of living crisis and his proposals for a better future.

Author β€˜It-Girl’ of the Year and #1 New York Times Bestseller R.F.Kuang is joining festival-goers on Sunday, 27 August to discuss her most recent accomplishment, Yellowface.

Kuang is still riding the wave of success from her last publication, Babel, which has dominated contemporary book lists this year.

The Festival

First held in 1983, the Edinburgh International Book Festival has become the biggest book festival in the world. In its 40th year, the festival is hosting over 700 events.

The main venue of the festival is Edinburgh College of Art. This is where authors will have book signings after their events.

Attendees should also be sure to visit the Book Festival Village on George Street. It is free and open to everyone. Event venues are dotted around the village.

Edinburgh International Festival Book Village
Edinburgh International Book Festival Book Village. Image Credit: Roberto Ricciuti

Waterstones are also hosting a festival bookshop in the old fire station building on Lauriston Place. This will house titles by all visiting authors as well as relevant works.

The festival will be a hybrid event, with a mix of online events and live streams of in-person events. In 2020, the festival was moved online due to Covid-19 restrictions. This inspired modern changes to the festival.

Claiming that “The hybrid festival is the festival of the future, Edinburgh International Book Festival Director, Nick Barley, said: “It puts Scotland on the international stage”.

Since then, the festival has enjoyed hybrid status and has been able to extend its international reach.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival 2023 programme and tickets can be accessed here.

Featured Image Credit: Roberto Ricciuti

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Third year English and Journalism student at the University of Stirling πŸ™‚

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