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Ten events we're excited for at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Again and again, the Edinburgh International Book Festival serves up an extraordinary programme, celebrating literature from around the globe. This year (well, every year, actually) Scottish literature is particularly well represented, with a wide range of events celebrating both established and emerging writers.

With the festival coming up fast, we've got our programme out and picked ten exciting events with a Scottish link.

1. Janice Galloway on Muriel Spark

The festival's opening events pairs two of Scotland's most respected writers: Muriel Spark and Janice Galloway. Chaired by Jenny Niven, Creative Scotland's Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing, this event will see Galloway present Spark’s writing and ideas, encouraging us to ‘hear’ the voice of Spark by reading selections from her most evocative works. 

Event info: Saturday 11 August, 11.45am, Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, £12 (£10).

2. A Graphic Novel of Women

The unstoppable indie publishing force that is 404 Ink have collaborated with the wonderful BHP Comics on We Shall Fight Until We Win, a graphic novel highlighting the achievements of British women in public life over 100 years. This event sees Chair Jenny Niven chat to the powerhouses behind the project: Sha Nazir, Heather Palmer and Laura Jones.

Event info: Saturday 11 August, 2.45pm, The Spiegeltent, £What You Want.

3. Comhairle nan Leabhraichean

Happy Birthday to the brilliant Gaelic Books Council, who are celebrating 50 years of Gaelic writing and publishing this year! Since it's their birthday and all, we reckon you should join them for a showcase event, where you can immerse yourself in a cornucopia of images, songs, music and Gaelic literary readings. This event promises a star-studded line-up, and is hosted by television and radio presenter Cathy MacDonald. Please note: this event is in Gaelic. Simultaneous translation available.

Event info: Saturday 11 August, 7pm, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, £8 (£6).

4. Imogen Hermes Gowar & Kirsty Logan

The Gloaming is Scottish author Kirsty Logan’s bewitching tale of first love on a remote Scottish island that follows her acclaimed debut, The Gracekeepers. In this event, she teams up with Imogen Hermes Gowar, who has recently enjoyed great success with her debut, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

Event info: Sunday 12 August, 7pm, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, £8 (£6).

5. Sasha Dugdale & Jenni Fagan

Much-celebrated Scottish writer Jenni Fagan shares her exciting new poetry collection The Witch in the Word Machine at this event, which is described as 'an exploration of words as spells, incantations, curse and solace'. She's teaming up with poet Sasha Dugdale, whose new collection Joy is visceral and powerful.

Event info: Monday 13 August, 8.30pm, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, £8 (£6).

6. Liam McIlvanney & Denise Mina

The Quaker is the creepy moniker of a serial killer in award-winning Liam McIlvanney’s new Glasgow-set thriller which has Highlander DI McCormack struggling with a brutal Scottish winter and suspicious colleagues. Winner of the McIlvanney and the Gordon Burn Prizes, The Long Drop sees Denise Mina in visceral form as she novelises the true crimes of notorious Scottish killer Peter Manuel. Chaired by Stuart Kelly.

Event info: Tuesday 14 August, 8.45pm, Spark Theatre on George Street, £12 (£10).

7. Angus Peter Campbell & Robert Crawford

Susan Mansfield chairs this event, which sees two of Scotland’s most revered poets come together to contemplate and celebrate their nation. Written in both Gaelic and English, Angus Peter Campbell’s Stèisean (Station) is a return to verse following his 2017 Saltire Fiction Book award for Memory and Straw. Robert Crawford is The Scottish Ambassador in his new collection as he merges universal truths with his country’s landscape, communities and people. 

Event info: Friday 17 August, 12.15pm, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, £8 (£6).

8. Gabriel Josipovici & Malachy Tallack

A revered writer and a rising Scottish star link up for this event. Muriel Spark was a fan of Gabriel Josipovici, whose latest novel The Cemetery in Barnes takes in Paris, London and Wales through three interconnecting tales. Non-fiction writer and musician from Shetland Malachy Tallack has penned debut novel The Valley at the Centre of the World, a story of community set amid the sheep and soil of his homeland. Chaired by Stuart Kelly.

Event info: Thursday 16 August, 12pm, The Spiegeltent, £12 (£10).

9. Ron Butlin & Alan Spence

Two heavyweight figures of Scottish literature are here to look afresh at their early works. Considered ahead of its time in 1987, Ron Butlin’s The Sound of My Voice has since been mightily hailed by Irvine Welsh while finding an adoring audience across Europe. A decade earlier, Alan Spence brought Glasgow to vivid life in a short story collection, Its Colours They Are Fine. Chaired by BBC Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor.

Event info: Thursday 16 August, 3.45pm, Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre, £8 (£6).

10. Camilla Grudova & Helen McClory

Chaired by Creative Scotland's Sasha de Buyl. Camilla Grudova’s latest work, The Doll's Alphabet, is a collection of surreal, dystopian horror stories linked by a grimy, squalid atmosphere and a sense of the familiar being distorted. In Mayhem & Death Helen McClory returns, delving deeper into mythical yet recognisable stories woven from dark and light, human fear and fortune. For fans of Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood

Event info: Friday 24 August, 6.30pm, Writers' Retreat, £8 (£6).

The Edinburgh International Book Festival takes place 11-27 August 2018. Browse the full programme and buy tickets at edbookfest.co.uk.

This article was published on 11 Jul 2018