Expanded book festival opens in Edinburgh

Image caption,
The book festival has now spilled out onto George Street in Edinburgh

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has got under way.

The festival, which has been running for more than 30 years, has spilled out onto George Street from its traditional home of Charlotte Square.

It comes after the owners asked the festival to reduce its impact on the space and grass damage.

Organisers also believe the move will capture new audiences. The Edinburgh International Book Festival runs until Monday 28 August.

It opens with speakers including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Paul Auster, Zadie Smith, Richard Ford, Andrew O'Hagan and Ali Smith.

Comedians Andy Hamilton, Joe Lycett and Sara Pascoe will be appearing together with actors Simon Callow, Harriet Walter, Isla Fisher and Stephen McGann and from the world of politics Harriet Harman, Sayeeda Warsi, Vince Cable, Jess Phillips, David Owen and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

There will be conversations, performances, lectures, workshops and discussions featuring 1,000 writers including 50 debut novelists from more than 50 countries.

Nick Barley, director of Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: "I'm really proud that we are able to expand into George Street this year.

"For many years Charlotte Square has been home for the book festival and it still is the home of the book festival.

"But expanding into George Street is a chance to reach out to new audiences and people who haven't yet had the chance to take part in what goes on in Charlotte Square gardens."

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