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10 events to book at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh Book Festival

Readers, writers and bibliophiles of all stripes have been flocking to this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival since it opened on 12 August.

So far, 2017's programme has seen a range of unique and interesting guests tread the boards of the festival's famous yurts, including Nicola Sturgeon, Chris Hoy, Zadie Smith, Isla Fisher, Jackie Kay and more.

And while the last week-and-a-bit has been packed with impressive events, there are still plenty of talks and readings to attend before the festival wraps up on 28 August. Here, we've picked a selection of readings and talks with tickets still available, if you're looking for a last-minute literary jaunt.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is one of Creative Scotland's Regularly Funded Organisations (2015-2018).

Sara Pascoe

Under patriarchy’s gaze, the female body is both relished and reviled. Comedian Sara Pascoe has produced thought-provoking work on stage about female sexuality and with her debut book, Animal, she probes further into the subject to raise many questions: why do breasts exist, why are media portrayals of women’s bodies so warped, and can it be true that medical trials were performed upon women to cure hysteria?

Tickets: Wed 23 August, 3:45pm-4:45pm, Studio Theatre, £12 (£10).

John Glenday & Jackie Kay with Don Paterson

Since Robin Robertson's A Painted Field in 1997, Picador has been publishing groundbreaking, award-winning and breathtaking poetry. Amongst the roll call of fine poets are some of the UK's greatest literary voices. Join current editor, the award-winning poet Don Paterson, as he presents a selection including the multiple prize-winning Robertson himself, Denise Riley, John Glenday, Scotland's Makar Jackie Kay, and Colette Bryce, whose Selected Poems are published this year.

Tickets: Wednesday 23 August, 8:15pm-9:15pm, Bosco Theatre (George Street), £12 (£10).

A L Kennedy

He is a civil servant, divorced, afraid of commitment. She is a 45 year old, unmarried, former alcoholic working for an animal charity. A L Kennedy’s Serious Sweet is not an obvious romance, but then again there’s nothing obvious in anything she writes. Few novelists have her ability to dissect emotion - here, loneliness - with such finesse. Chaired by Ruth Wishart.

Tickets: Thursday 24 August, 11:45am-12:45pm, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, £12 (£10).

Mick Kitson, Alan Parks & Malachy Tallack

Our series previewing 2018’s most exciting new books continues with three Scottish novelists. Alan Parks’s Bloody January is the first in a crime series featuring detective Harry McCoy. Mick Kitson’s debut, Sal, tells of two girls who run away into the Scottish wilderness. Joining them is award-winning writer Malachy Tallack with his first novel, about a Shetlandic community fighting change. Ticket includes an advance proof copy of one of the books, courtesy of Canongate Books.

Tickets: Friday 25 August 8:15pm-9:15pm, Bosco Theatre (George Street), £12 (£10).

Cosey Fanni Tutti with Ian Rankin

Punk pioneer and provocative performer Cosey Fanni Tutti was a thorn in an anxious establishment’s side during the 70s and 80s. Her 1976 performance art exhibition, 'Prostitution', hit the tabloids and caused an almighty stir, with one Tory MP denouncing Cosey and her COUM Transmissions collaborators as ‘wreckers of civilisation’. Meet a uniquely provocative talent, in conversation with Ian Rankin, and find out how she looks back on those days.

Tickets: Sunday 27 August, 8:45pm-9:45pm, Studio Theatre, £12 (£10).

Patrick Ness: Release

The twice Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls presents Release, his most personal novel to date. Adam's life is falling apart - fracturing relationships, a horrible boss and clashes with family are just a few of his worries. Meet Patrick Ness and hear him discuss this groundbreaking and tender novel.

Tickets: Sunday 27 August, 1:30pm-2:30pm, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, £5.

Robert Webb

What is it to be male? Peep Show actor Robert Webb reckons it involves a heap of unnecessary pressure applied from a very early age. With his call-to-arms memoir How Not To Be A Boy, Webb considers his own inculcation into the cult of man and how bending those stringent rules is not easy in a world which expects males to have a certain, well, maleness about them.

Tickets: Sunday 27 August, 6:45pm-7:45pm, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, £12 (£10).

A Tribute to Stephanie Wolfe Murray

As the co-founder of Canongate Books, Stephanie Wolfe Murray created one of the most influential and successful Scottish publishing companies of the past century. Among her extraordinary achievements, she published Alasdair Gray’s revolutionary novel Lanark, and launched the Canongate Classics imprint which brought overlooked Scottish authors back into print. Today, following Stephanie’s death in June, a host of Scotland’s leading authors pay tribute to a woman who changed the course of Scottish literature forever. Participants include Alasdair Gray, Mairi Hedderwick, Alexander McCall Smith, Tom Pow and Kim Wolfe Murray, chaired by Canongate’s own Jamie Byng.

Tickets: Wednesday 23 August, 7:15pm-8:15pm, Studio Theatre, free (book in advance).

Unbound: The Flint & Pitch Revue

A delicious mash-up of spoken word, poetry and music featuring some of the best rising stars of the literary and music scenes in Scotland. The bill includes poetry and spoken word from Rachel McCrum and Sara Hirsch; up-and-coming 404 Ink author Chris McQueer; music from Laurence Made Me Cry and more, all brought to you by Scotland's finest champions of new voices, Flint & Pitch. Over 18s only.

Tickets: Sunday 27 August, 9:00pm-11:00pm, The Spiegeltent, free (drop-in).

Story Shop

Immerse yourself in short stories at Story Shop, hosted by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. Hear up-and-coming writers living and working in Edinburgh today. Check cityofliterature.com for the line-up.

Tickets: Daily, 3:00pm-3:30pm, The Spiegeltent, free (drop-in).

Book Festival from Creative Scotland on Vimeo.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival runs 12-28 August 2017. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

This article was published on 23 Aug 2017