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The Book Cafe at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

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Rich Preston | 16:25 UK time, Monday, 23 August 2010

After the hectic two weeks we've had broadcasting The Festival Café live from the EICC (see previous blogs...), today was back to normality. Sort of.

As Edinburgh is still gripped with festival fever, we made the most of being on the doorstep of some of the most exciting events in the cultural world. And so, equipped with all the necessary gear to make a radio show, plus technical crew, production staff, presenters and waterproof jackets, we made our way to the centre of the literary universe at the moment - Edinburgh's Charlotte Square.

I'll let my colleagues Emma and Catriona take it from here:

Emma Langman:

Today's Book Café show continued the Festival spirit by broadcasting live from the Edinburgh International Book Festival at Charlotte Square Gardens. Guests David Shields, Salley Vickers and Lydia Davis read extracts from their recent works, as well as discussing the role of the writer and how best to tell a story. Each author writes in a very different style so it was interesting to hear their varied views on literature - all coming from our BBC tent. While American Lydia Davis has just published her first UK volume of short stories, Salley Vickers talked about her fifth novel "Dancing Backwards" and David Shields' "Reality Hunger" expresses concern about traditional modes of writing and encourages authors to be more creative with their work.


Broadcasting right from the heart of the Book Festival added an extra special atmosphere to our Book Café show and we are back again next Monday with Alexander McCall Smith and Antonia Fraser. So please come and join us at 1.15pm for another lively and entertaining discussion. Don't forget our other shows too - the Culture Café is tomorrow, the Music Café is on Wednesday, the Movie Café is on Thursday and the Comedy Café is on Friday - the perfect accompaniment to your lunchtime break.

Book Cafe from the Edinburgh International Book FestivalTop left: Author Salley Vickers and Presenter Clare English chat about the Book Festival before going on-air
Top right: Emma Langman (in the blue jacket) spreading the word of Radio Scotland's Book Café programme
Bottom right: David Shields and Lydia Davis compare writing styles on the show
Bottom left: Lydia Davis and Salley Vickers enjoying the atmosphere of the BBC tent at Charlotte Square


Catriona MacLeod:

The Festival Café is over, but there is much more to be enjoyed at Café headquarters as today was the first of two Book Café specials, live from the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Emma and I had the task of flyering outside the venue - not much fun in the rain, but people seemed to enjoy the Radio Scotland bookmarks (totally free, totally useful!). I managed to persuade one gentleman leaving the venue to turn around and go back in. Marketing score. The tent we were based in is a big departure from the EICC, but the buzz at the festival was comparable; school trips milled around getting ice cream despite the weather, and strolling round the square was a very chilled experience under the canopies. The festival has its own Speigeltent called 'Moulin Rouge' offering - wait for it - MUFFINS, which I declined because I have overdosed on baked goods over the past two weeks. This is my last broadcast on location, as I will unfortunately be back to my usual un-showbiz life next Monday, but you can look forward to Alexander McCall-Smith on the next show live from Charlotte Square on the 30th.

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