Culture clashes, the cost of success and murder are some of the themes at Edinburgh International Book Festival this year…
By Mamie Colfox
AUGUST is a busy month for Scotland’s capital city. Not only is Edinburgh Fringe in full swing, but Edinburgh International Book Festival begins on Saturday (August 13) until Monday (August 29) and with over 550 authors in the programme, including Monica Ali with a talk called ‘The Ties That Bind’.
It has been a decade since Ali’s novel ‘Brick Lane’, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003, and she will be in conversation with journalist Sam Baker about her new book ‘Love Marriage’ which covers themes of love, family and the modern world.
When doctors Yasmin Ghorami and Joe Sangster begin to plan their wedding, culture clashes, family differences and relationship shifts are just a few of the obstacles they face.
‘Monica Ali: The Ties That Bind’, August 17, Central Hall, 2 West Tollcross, EH3 9BP (2.30pm)
Other authors to look out for… (in chronological order)
‘Pankaj Mishra: The Personal is Always Political’- Prize winning author’s novel on the cost of success
WINNER of the 2014 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, Pankaj Mishra is in Edinburgh to talk about his novel ‘Run and Hide’, two decades after his first novel ‘The Romantics’ was published in 1999.
His second novel follows Arun as he navigates life outside of his small railway town after he enrols in the Indian Institute of Technology. Here he meets two friends and learns about their success and its cost.
‘Pankaj Mishra: The Personal is Always Political’, August 14, Baillie Gifford Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, EH3 9DF (7pm)
‘Catherine Menon & Vauhini Vara: Untangling Family Histories’- in conversation with two ambitious novel writers
FAMILY SECRETS is the theme of both Catherine Menon and Vauhini Vara’s debut novels and will be in conversation with writer Rachelle Atalla.
Born to Indian immigrant parents in Canada, Vara’s novel ‘The Immortal King Rao’ is both an historical saga and a dystopian satire about a Dalit man born in a remote Indian village who becomes the CEO of the most famous tech company in the world.
Of Malaysian heritage, Menon’s ‘The Fragile Monsters’ explores a Malaysian family’s changing fortunes.
‘Catherine Menon & Vauhini Vara: Untangling Family Histories’- August 15, Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, EH3 9DF (3.30pm)
‘Sunjeev Sahota: Behind the Veil’- Award winner likes to characterise unhappiness in his novels
NOVELIST Sunjeev Sahota’s book ‘China Room’ shares the stories of two people: one, an alienated teenager on a trip to rural India, and a bride in 1929 who has never seen her husband’s face.
Sahota’s novels are known for their exploration of unhappy characters, with his first novel ‘Ours are the Streets’ from the perspective of a suicide bomber. His second book ‘The Year of the Runaways’ follows migrant workers in Sheffield and won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015.
‘Sunjeev Sahota: Behind the Veil’- August 17, Northside Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, EH3 9DF (10.15am)
‘Abir Mukherjee: Raj-Era Mysteries and Political Fallout’- Race against time to solve murder
CRIME FICTION writer Abir Mukherjee will speak about the fifth book in his Wyndham and Banerjee series ‘The Shadows of Men’. Set in the era of the Raj in India, a Hindu theologian is murdered just as political tensions are rife, and the race is on to solve the mystery before a bloodbath occurs.
‘Abir Mukherjee: Raj-Era Mysteries and Political Fallout’- August 24, Northside Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, EH3 9DF (6.15pm)
‘Julia Armfield & Kiran Millwood Hargrave: Writing the Unfathomable’- A dance plague and a deep sea mission part of talk
AUTHORS Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Julia Armfield are at Edinburgh to talk about what lingers under the surface.
Millwood Hargrave’s novel ‘The Dance Tree’ is set in 1518 Strasbourg, when a dancing plague enters the city. Pregnant Lisbet must welcome her sister-in-law back from exile after she was convicted of a crime Lisbet has never been told about, all the while, the dancing plague picks up pace.
Armfield’s ‘Our Wives Under the Sea’ follows Miri as she tries to come to terms with her wife’s changed persona after she returns from a deep sea mission.
‘Julia Armfield & Kiran Millwood Hargrave: Writing the Unfathomable’- August 28, Northside Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, EH3 9DF (2.15pm)
Upper row: Monica Ali and Pankaj Mishra
Middle row: Catherine Menon, Vauhini Vara and Sunjeev Sahota
Lower row: Abit Mukherjee, Julia Armfield and Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Other authors appearing
Nihal Arthanayake (‘Let’s Talk’)