Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019

edinburgh international book festival

1 – 26 August, 2019

In an era of contradiction and division the 2019 Edinburgh International Book Festival invites authors and audiences to find new stories to give meaning to the world. Stories are to society what DNA is to human life – small strings of information which become bound together to make up a shared understanding of humanity’s place in the world.  The 2019 programme brings together writers from all over the world for the most international gathering in the Festival’s history to participate in a series of conversations, debates, workshops and performances to champion their stories.


Check out the events and book your tickets.

New Voices at the Book Festival

New voices at the Book Festival this year include award-winning Indian author, citizen and activist Arundhati Roy making her first appearance in  in conversation with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Two other debuts at Charlotte Square Gardens are leading Australian novelists Thomas Keneally and YA writer Markus Zusak.  From Indonesia the world-renowned poet, essayist and playwright Goenawan Mohamad will discuss his life and work and from France the Festival welcomes two writers shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize – Annie Ernaux and Mathias Énard.

Book Launches at the Festival

Major book launches at the Festival include: new novels from Salman Rushdie, Cressida Cowell, Tracy Chevalier, Ann Cleeves (introducing her new detective), Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, James Meek and Deborah Levy.  Composer James MacMillan launches his memoir and Branko Milanovic is interviewed by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  Eddie Izzard speaks about his audio recording of Dickens’ Great Expectations plus more great fiction from Kate Atkinson, Harry Hill, Clare Balding, Tim Winton, David Nicholls, Joanne Harris, Mark Haddon and Roddy Doyle in conversation with Blindboy, one half of the Irish comedy hip-hop duo Rubberbandits.

The Most International Programme in the Book Festival’s History

The 2019 Book Festival has over 60 countries represented at this year’s festival. In addition to Oman’s Jokha Alharthi, winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, you can enjoy novels from Mexico’s Emiliano Monge, musician Rita Indiana from the Dominican Republic, Sulaiman Addonia from Eritrea and Khalid Khalifa from Syria. Margaret Busby introducing her collection New Daughters of Africa, is joined by contributors Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Bernardine Evaristo. In the Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme illustrators Fifi Kuo from Kuwait and Czech Petr Horáček appearing with debut novelist Yasmin Rahman, El Salvador and Finland’s Maria Turtschaninoff concluding her thrilling The Red Abbey Chronicles series.

Entrance to the Gardens is FREE and the gardens, cafés, bookshops and all venues are fully accessible.  Full details of the programme can be found at www.edbookfest.co.uk. Tickets to all events go on sale at 8.30am on Tuesday 25 June 2019, online at www.edbookfest.co.uk, by phone on 0345 373 5888 or in person at the Box Office at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (on Tuesday 25 June only, thereafter at The Hub, Castlehill).

Fringe Events


Word Jazzology 9 August 6.15 p.m. and 10 August, 2019 6.15 p.m.

Scottish Poetry Library5 Crichton’s CloseEdinburgh, Scotland, EH8 8DT

A unique poetry, gypsy jazz, literary comedy crossover cabaret collision!

Scots/Australian poet Ali Whitelock (Bukowski with a Glaswegian accent) reads with (Sappho with a laptop) Magi Gibson, both known for their page poetry and their high-level performance. Compèred by Dubliner Ian Macpherson, (‘Comedy’s answer to James Joyce’ (BBC Radio 4)). Ian will read snippets from The Book of Blaise, semi-autobiographical stories of life with a poet in the West End of Glasgow. Previously broadcast as a BBC Radio 4 series. Music from Le Jazz Band, with violin/poem pieces created by gypsy violinist Helen Jayne.

Tickets are £10/£8/6 concession, and are available from Fringe Event Page or from the Fringe box office on 0131 226 0000.



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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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