Edinburgh Book Festival 2019: our pick of the events not to miss at Scotland's biggest celebration of literature

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is one of the biggest events on the literary calendar, drawing in big-name authors, writers, poets and essayists for talks and discussions on their work.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 3:20 pm
(Photo: Shutterstock)

This year's edition of the festival is no different, with over 800 events from well-known novelists, poets, scientists, sports personalities, illustrators, comic creators, historians, musicians, biographers, Nobel and Booker prize-winners and more.

Tickets went on sale on Tuesday and while some events are sold out already, there are plenty that are still selling tickets and we’ve picked 8 of the best events not to miss.

For more information, and for a full list of events, be sure to check out the Edinburgh International Book Festival's official website.

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Goenawan Mohamad (Photo: Getty)

Thomas Keneally

The New York Times Main Theatre // 25 August

Thomas Keneally is the Booker Prize-winning Australian author of Schindler’s Ark, and comes to Edinburgh to talk about new novel, 'The Book of Science and Antiquities'. In it, ancient human remains are found in Western Australia, causing controversy: was the man Aboriginal, or does he signify an even older culture?

Deborah Levy

Thomas Keneally (Photo: Getty)

The Spiegeltent // 26 August

The Booker Prize-shortlisted Deborah Levy will be launching new novel The Man Who Saw Everything. Levy’s story follows young historian Saul Adler to communist East Berlin in 1989. He’s recovering after being hit by a car on Abbey Road. There, events unfold which will come back to haunt him 27 years later.

Annie Ernaux

The Spiegeltent // 21 August

Deborah Levy (Photo: Getty)

Annie Ernaux’s 'The Years' tells a story of post-war France from a lower-middle class perspective, and a French society increasingly addicted to the cult of consumerism. Often described as one of the greatest living French authors, Ernaux comes to Edinburgh to talk about her work.

Salman Rushdie

The New York Times Main Theatre // 26 August

Salman Rushdie comes to Edinburgh for the worldwide launch of his new novel, Quichotte. A playful retelling of Don Quixote set in present day USA, Rushdie's book veers from wildly comic to heartbreaking, as an ageing salesman embarks on a quest for love with his imaginary son Sancho through a country on the brink of moral collapse

Salman Rushdie (Photo: Getty)

Goenawan Mohamad

Writers' Retreat // 24 August

Indonesian poet, essayist, playwright and editor Goenawan Mohamad comes to Edinburgh to talk about his decades of work in both fiction and non-fiction. Mohamad was among the writers and intellectuals who signed the 1963 Cultural Manifesto and is now a dissenting voice on social media.

Malorie Blackman: Crossfire

The New York Times Main Theatre // 11 August

Malorie Blackman is one of the UK’s most influential children’s authors, and will be discussing her latest novel, the highly anticipated new book in her ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses series, Crossfire. The new book deals with racism, politics and terrorism, and the series feels as relevant today as when the first book was published 15 years ago.

Branko Milanovic with Gordon Brown

The New York Times Main Theatre // 14 August

Leading economist Branko Milanovic discusses the ideas found in his new book 'Capitalism, Alone' with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In the book, he charts the rise of the economic system that’s now dominant worldwide, and asks "Can we find a way to make capitalism work for the many?"

Tracy Chevalier

The New York Times Main Theatre // 22 August

Girl with the Pearl Earring author Tracy Chevalier returns to Edinburgh to talk about her new book, which tells the story of Violet Speedwell. Refusing to tend endlessly to her grieving mother after the Great War, she begins a new life among the embroiderers of Winchester Cathedral; a community of supportive women in which she hopes to grow.