All Together Now
The Edinburgh International Book Festival [13 to 29 August] has revealed this year's programme, with more than 600 events featuring over 550 authors, performers, musicians and thinkers from 50 countries - all at Edinburgh College of Art but with a new site layout to accommodate more events and bigger audience.
All Together Now is the rallying call in 2022 and builds on the hybrid format developed over the past two years, with live, in-person events, many of which are also available to stream or watch at a later date. Packed with events for adults and with a stunning programme for children and young people, this year’s Book Festival celebrates the imagination, ideas and issues at the heart of books and stories, offering new perspectives on the world around us.
- Amongst the hundreds of authors taking part this year are Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, Vietnamese American poet Ocean Vuong, Outlander writer Diana Gabaldon, as well as Noam Chomsky, Jack Monroe, Alexander McCall Smith, Denise Mina, William Dalrymple and Armando Iannucci.
- New books are launched and discussed with Maggie O'Farrell [Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 winner] and her hotly-anticipated novel The Marriage Portrait, Val McDermid follows up last year’s bestselling 1979 with 1989 [the latest in her series chronicling modern Scotland], Irvine Welsh talks for the first time about his new crime novel The Long Knives, Monica Ali introduces her first novel for a decade and the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah, talks about his novel Afterlives. The 2020 Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart is back on home soil with Young Mungo, the follow up to his Booker-winning first novel Shuggie Bain, while the great Irish writer Anne Enright returns to reflect on finding influence and inspiration in Ireland.
- Political questions remain front of mind. Chernobyl expert and bestselling Ukrainian historian Serhii Plokhy discusses Ukraine’s position at the crossroads of Europe and Russia, while Gideon Rachman, Andrew Wilson and Lea Ypi come together to investigate the rise of authoritarian leaders. Historian Antony Beevor talks about his new book exploring the dramatic story of Russia’s revolution that continues to influence the modern era. Meanwhile we explore the relationship between money and power in the post-pandemic world and rising inequality in the UK, in events featuring leading economists Mariana Mazzucato and John Kay; historian Adam Tooze and journalist Oliver Bullough.
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joins for two events, interviewing acclaimed novelist Louise Welsh about her new novel The Second Cut, and screen legend Brian Cox about a life on the Scottish stage and his role in television hit series Succession.
- Poetry heavyweights, alongside up-and-coming talent, also feature this year with the likes of American poet Ada Limón, while P J Harvey will be in conversation with fellow poet and editor Don Paterson. We also welcome Edinburgh Makar Hannah Lavery, and Michael Pedersen with special guests Shirley Manson and Charlotte Church. And Lemn Sissay, Malika Booker, Kayo Chingonyi and Salena Godden will take the stage together to celebrate the work of Black British poets.
- Black perspectives take centre stage in non-fiction events: Howard W French presents a revised history of modern civilisation from the point of view of Africa and its people in conversation with Olivette Otele. Tsitsi Dangarembga from Zimbabwe and Esi Edugyan from Canada join us to discuss their essays on race and representation, and Lord Simon Woolley, founder and director of Operation Black Vote and the first Black man to lead an Oxbridge college, talks about his own inspiring life story with Baroness Lola Young.
- Artistic boundaries will be crossed in events featuring world-famous musicians including Martha Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker, Vashti Bunyan, and Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross, who share stories of their journeys through the world of music; while writer Sinead Gleeson discusses This Woman’s Work – the anthology she coedited about women and music, whilst screenwriter Abi Morgan and actor Alan Cumming discuss their luminous memoirs about their fascinating lives.
- It’s an unprecedented year for performance at the Book Festival. This is Memorial Device is a full theatre production of a new play based on David Keenan’s novel of the same name, and is presented throughout the Book Festival. Graham Eatough’s adaptation is the latest development in a long-term partnership between the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and the Book Festival. Performance events also include a series entitled Scotland Through Time – supported through the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund – looking at Scotland’s past, present and future through new books. .
- We welcome firm favourites in the Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme including bestselling author-illustrator Cressida Cowell, Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson, British poet Dean Atta, author Juno Dawson, comedy writer and former doctor Adam Kay, and celebrated comedian and cartoonist Henry Packer. Michael Morpurgo returns with Carnival of Animals, a musical event for the over fives and, for the first time, the Book Festival hosts the YA Book Prize Ceremony. Also appearing are authors Sinéad Burke, Rosie Jones, Jason Reynolds, Humza Arshad, Elle McNicoll, Ross Montgomery, and Aisha Bushby with their own books and stories in a series of lively events.
Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said:
We’ve learned a great deal in the last two years, so that alongside the return of our full-scale in-person festival we can also offer the accessibility and international reach of live-streamed events. The world has changed immeasurably since 2019: we’re learning to live with the effects of the pandemic and war in Europe – but we’re also beginning to imagine what a better future should look like. Exploring these issues in inspiring conversations with scientists, historians, poets and novelists is exactly where the Book Festival comes into its own. I’m thrilled that thanks to Baillie Gifford, every young person coming to a Schools event gets a free ticket and a free book this year. With all online events and a selection of our in-person theatre tickets also available on a Pay What You Can basis, we’re doing everything we can to make the festival accessible to everyone.