The Edinburgh International Book Festival has announced what it claims is “its most international programme to date,” under the title “Around the World in 18 Days.” According to its advance notice, “the Book Festival welcomes voices from over 55 countries writing in a multitude of languages, many of whom are translated into English for the first time.”
These international names include Spain’s Jaume Cabré, Germany’s Jenny Erpenbeck, Helle Helle from Denmark, South Korea’s Han Kang, Alain Mabanckou from Congo, and Salla Simukka from Finland. The more familiar slate of authors and participants, meanwhile, includes David Hare, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Philippa Gregory, Pat Barker, Louis de Bernières, Joanne Harris, David Mitchell, Irvine Welsh, Amit Chaudhuri, Ben Okri, Howard Jacobson, Jane Smiley, Antony Beevor, Ferdinand Mount, Antonia Fraser. and, among leading Scots, former First Minster Alex Salmond, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said, “As well as another fantastic line up of top writers, this year the Edinburgh International Book Festival is highlighting one of today’s most important subjects, internationalism. For centuries, great writers have opened our minds to novel worlds and lands. Through understanding others we embrace new ideas and expand our imagination, both are vital for a country looking to succeed on the world stage. Scots have always embraced internationalism. Our intangible cultural heritage of storytelling, poetry and music transcends boundaries.”
There are many, many other items in the programme, and full details can be found at www.edbookfest.co.uk. In a stunning series, this definitely looks like being one of the best yet.