Edinburgh Book Festival Tickets Go On Sale
Tickets for the Edinburgh International Book Festival just went on sale (8.30am) and the full program goes online at noon today. After experiencing technical problems and delays in previous years the site is operating a queuing system, where you must wait for a shopping basket after logging in to your account. No doubt, that will act as deterrent for the usual rush of people to get the hot tickets while lightening the load on the online box office.
The book festival is probably the Edinburgh festival that attracts the most varied tastes, with authors ranging from politicans to children's authors in the same camp in Charlotte Square.
There are over 800 authors appearing in 750 events and representing 44 different countries from Australia to Russia, Argentina to Nigeria.
Ian McEwan, James Kelman, Will Self, Pankaj Mishra, Pat Barker, Gavin Esler and Louise Welsh are among authors heading to Edinburgh with their new books, while Zadie Smith, Howard Jacobson, Val McDermid and A N Wilson will offer previews of their forthcoming novels.
The Book Festival continues to position itself as a forum where people can hear and question intellectual heavy hitters from around the globe (and possibly buy their signed new book).
Director Nick Barley and his team at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, have also served up some appropriately meaty themes for delegates to this year's new venture, the ambitious Edinburgh World Writers' Conference, to get their teeth into.
“This is a year for taking stock about what matters to us in a time of uncertainty, doubt and data overload," said Barley. "It is also, of course, a time when Scotland is preparing to make a big decision about its own future. All this and more will be discussed, deliberated, considered, broadcast live online via the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, and disseminated around the world – we look forward to a lively, informed and informative debate.”
Among this year's talks and debates former Prime Minister Gordon Brown - who has longstanding connections with Edinburgh - will deliver the National Library of Scotland’s Donald Dewar Lecture and John McCarthy will speak at the inaugural Frederick Hood Memorial Lecture.
There's more discussions with broadcasters James Naughtie and Sue MacGregor, who have been invited to curate their own series of events in the programme as 2012 Guest Selectors.
Naughtie will look at Britain Today with politicians Tom Watson, Paddy Ashdown, Alistair Darling, novelist Zadie Smith and poet Ruth Padel.
Sue MacGregor will discuss A Survival Kit for the Information Age with Maajid Nawaz, Prue Leith, Charles Ferguson, Tessa Hadley, Sarah Hall and A L Kennedy.
On top of that there's also the Book Festival’s debates series where authors like David Lammy, Mihir Bose, Joanna Blythman, Ferdinand Mount, Menzies Campbell, Noo Saro Wiwa and Mustafa Cerić, will rethink topics ranging from radical Islam to the role of Europe, from the way food is viewed to whether the markets are the best means to regulate society.
And for the kids, there's the RBS Children’s Programme. Highlights include Jacqueline Wilson offering a sneak preview of her re-interpretation of the classic Five Children and It, Andrew Motion reading from his sequel to Treasure Island, and Frank Cottrell Boyce will read from his sequel to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Val McDermid will present her first book for children, and a wealth of international authors will include Shaun Tan, Garth Nix and Margo Lanagan from Australia, Kathryn Erskine from the USA and the French illustrator Stephane-Yves Barroux.