Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh International Book festival to be 'global village'

Rev Jesse Jackson Image copyright AP
Image caption Civil rights leader the Reverend Jesse Jackson will make his festival debut

The Edinburgh International Book Festival will be a "global village" in August, with guests from 55 countries, its director has said.

Speaking at the launch of this year's programme, Nick Barley said it would be "more international than ever before".

Among the overseas stars are Spain's Jaume Cabré, Germany's Jenny Erpenbeck and Alain Mabanckou from Congo.

World-famous civil rights activist, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, will be among those making their festival debut.

Marilynne Robinson, regarded as one of America's greatest living writers, will make her first visit to Charlotte Square Gardens, as will French 'rock star' mathematician Cédric Villani and playwright David Hare.

The festival takes place from 15 to 31 August.

Image caption Nick Barley said the festival would be "more international than ever before"

The 18-day literary festival programme includes Philippa Gregory, who will launch her new novel on Henry VIII's last queen, and Val McDermid discussing her new crime novel with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Other authors making an appearance include Patrick Ness, Pat Barker, Arne Dahl, Aleksandar Hemon, Tom Holland, John Banville and Andrew Miller.

Elsewhere in the programme Louis de Bernières, Joanne Harris and Etgar Keret are joined by David Mitchell, Irvine Welsh, Emily Woof, Ben Okri and Howard Jacobson.

In politics, Channel 4 Economics Editor Paul Mason will be discussing capitalism and a route to a fairer society with former First Minister Alex Salmond and Green MP Caroline Lucas will explores the Westminster system.

The festival programme features five Guest Selectors who have curated strands.

These include Edinburgh author Ian Rankin who has chosen to chat to some of his favourite writers and musicians including Hollywood actor Alan Cumming, musicians Viv Albertine, Edwyn Collins and Stuart David, co-founder of Belle and Sebastian.

The festival's popular children's programme also reflects the global theme, with China's Haji Noor Deen, Iranian illustrator Anahita Teymorian and French graphic novelist Barroux appearing alongside home-grown favourites such as Cressida Cowell, who launches the last in her How to Train your Dragon series.

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