|Edinburgh Art college|
Celebrates the enduring power of books.
The bicycle racks are full at the book festival. Its now the second year at its new venue the Edinburgh Art college. With more of its usual buzz, with both in person and online events, there’s better children’s play area with a pirate ship and garden play area, and with more seating. It was a shock last year to move from Charlotte square gardens, where the Edinburgh International book festival took place from 1983 to 2019..
This year there were talks both in person and online.
In 2019 there were 900 events and now in 2022 events 600. With more streamlined events as expected less interest – as a result of the cost of accommodation and the pandemic.
Talks. At my first talk Edinburgh book festival, Irish writer Fintan O'Toole explored Ireland’s turbulent history from 1958 and whether Ireland might reunite. People wanting change while wanting things stay the same. But if we want things to stay the same things must change! The known and the unknown.
American author Diana Gabaldon's talk was packed out and what an interesting lady! She was there to promote her 9th book in the Outlander saga - Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. She was emotional when she spoke of working to protect the Gaelic language.
Noam Chmsky explored the corporate press, and encouraging debate in his book Chronicles of Dissent
Lea Yi, from Albania, spoke of her book Free, Coming of Age at the end of History.
*My EIBF talks included - Diana Gabaldon, Fintan O'Toole, Brian Cox, Oliver Bullough, Lea Yi, Good Grief, Noam Chomsky,
Bigger names – Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Maggie O’Farrell, Irvine Welsh,
(No talks by historian Tom Devine this year unfortunately.)
PJ Harvey, Martha Wainwright, Stuart Cosgrove,
James Runchie, The story of Bach’s masterpiece
Imagine a country, Val McDermid & Jo sharp.
Murray Pittock, Old Scotia Grandeur springs
Yasha Mounk, The Great Experiment
Franks Dikotter, The Rise of a superpower
*EIBF encourages us to debate, question, and look for truths, via a wide range of writers from to academics, novelists, historians, journalists, politicians, artists, poets and more.
Some might claim Edinburgh festivals are not radical enough. But the talks I’ve attended at the book festival this year covered many challenges – freedom in Albania, turbulent Ireland since 1958, challenging debates, and encouraging Scotland language and culture.
Maggie OFaarrell, The Marriage Portrait
Murray Pittock, Scotland’s stories now, On this day. Part of the year of stories 2022.
Irvine Welsh, The long Knives
Alan Riach – Scottish literature an introduction (Iain banks, Irvine welsh, Alasdair Gray, Hugh MacDiarmid, Dunbar, Robert Garioch, WN Hubert, Burns Scott, Hogg, romanticism marginalized look in.