The 2012 Edinburgh International Book Festival was launched yesterday in the oppulent surroundings of the Signet Library in Parliment Square, Edinburgh. Festival Director, Nick Barley promises that this year’s Book Festival will be a ‘showcase for some of the best Scottish writing’, while also being the place to celebrate a myriad of literary talent from around the world.
And with this year’s festival packing in a record-breaking 800 authors from 44 different countries appearing in a total of 750 events, it looks like being the only place for booklovers to be between 11th-27th August.
Among those heading this year’s programme are top literary names such as Hilary Mantel and Anne Enright, and John Banville who comes to the festival with his newest novel, Ancient Light.
The political scene is heavily represented this year as always, and leading figures including Alex Salmond, Paddy Ashdown, Roy Hattersley and former Prime Minster, Gordon Brown, will be seen tramping the boards around Charlotte Square Gardens.
Taking a jump from the world of entertainment to the children’s side of the book festival is Little Britain star, David Walliams who will be delighting young readers with his new book, Gangsta Granny. On a similar theme, Scottish crime writer Val McDermid will also be found entertaining a younger audience, as she presents her first book for children, My Granny is a Pirate.
A number of authors including Ian McEwan, Will Self, Gavin Esler and Loiuse Welsh will also joining EdBookFest this year to launch new titles, while others such as Zadie Smith and Howard Jacobson will offer a taste of upcoming novels. They will of course be joined by familiar faces around the square, such as Ian Rankin and Denise Mina.
Fiction from around the world is once again at the fore at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. The fact that Director, Nick Barley served as a judge for this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is wholly apparent, and reflected in the 2012 programme, which features the ‘art of translation’ as a major theme. Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winner, Aharon Appelfeld is joined at this year’s festival by longlisted authors Bernardo Atxaga and Kyung-Sook Shin, and shortlisted author, Sjón. There will also be a series of ‘translation duels’ where noted translators join foreign authors to show that literary translation is an art in itself.
Featuring 45 debut novelists, The First Book Award returns for its third year, with a new sponsor Anobii (a social networking website for booklovers). As in previous years, the overall winner of the Anobii First Book Award will be selected by the reader, who will choose their favourite debut novel, from the pool of nominated titles (for full details of the titles featured in the 2012 Anobii First Book Award, please visit the Anobii website).
The Edinburgh City of Literature Trust also make a welcome to the Book Festival this year, with their highly popular Story Shop event, which offers free short story readings daily, from a number of local short story writers.
Tickets for this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival go on sale at 08:30 on Friday 29th June, and will available online, or temporarily at the box office at the Roxburghe Hotel, Charlotte Square (29th June only) and at The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh (30th June – 9th August), before relocating to Charlotte Square Gardens from 11th August. For further details on events and authors, please visit the Edinburgh Book Festival website, and Twitter, via @edbookfest and hashtag #edbookfest.