Dolina: An Island Girl’s Journey.Well-known singer, actress and storyteller Dolina Maclennan launches her autobiography, written in conversation with Jim Gilchrist and Stuart Edymann. Dolina looks back at her childhood on Lewis and to her friendships with many of the great figures of the Scottish artistic and literary scene over the past half century. 6-8pm, Storytelling Court, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. Free. Part of the Carrying Stream Festival 2014.
Flash Comedy Night: some of the finest acts who performed at Boda during the Festival have been invited back for ‘a hilarious evening not to be missed!’ 7.30-9pm, Boda Bar, 229 Leith Walk. Free; arrive early to get good seats.
Animal Art: a new exhibition of mosaics, monoprints and linocuts by Edinburgh-based artist Freya Levy, featuring animals and the natural world. 9am-5.30pm today and Monday to Saturday (Sundays 10.30am-5.30pm), Glass & Thompson, Dundas Street.
Watson Gordon Lecture: Unfinished Paintings: Narratives of the Non-Finito. David Bomford, Director of Conservation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston explores the non-finito from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Unfinished paintings (examples of which can be seen in the National Gallery) fascinate the viewer and raise intriguing questions. What circumstances left them incomplete? What do they tell us about the way that painters worked? How do we define ‘finish’ and when did an artist consider a work to be finished? 6-7.30pm, Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, The Mound. Free and unticketed.
International Citizens Group: a group for people from different countries and cultures to share their knowledge and concerns about life in South Edinburgh. Explore the services in your community, meet new people and have some fun over tea and biscuits, share ideas about what needs to change and how to go about changing it, work together on issues that matter to you and to others in the group, and practice your spoken English. 1-3pm today and every Thursday, Tolcross Community Centre, Tolcross Primary School, 117 Fountainbridge. To get involved, or for more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone the Adult Learning Project on 0131 221 5800 or call in to Tollcross Community Centre.
D is for Dragons: Anita Govan, performance poet. To celebrate Dyslexia Awareness Week, join Anita as she shares her own story and some fantastic performance poetry. Anita has been deeply involved with poetry slams in Scotland, including the annual inter-city schools slam for 12-14 year olds. 6.30-7.30pm, Portobello Library, 14 Rosefield Avenue. Free tickets can be booked via eventbrite.
Books In Focus: World War One Artists. The ‘Books In Focus’ sessions look at artists’ books held in the Special Collections of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. This meeting will consider a cross-section of original publications of both Scottish and international artists working during the First World War, including Wyndham Lewis, Fernand Leger, Philippo Tommaso Marinetti and Scottish Colourist FCB Cadell. 11.30am-12.30pm, Reading Room, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art TWO, Belford Road. Limited places available: to book please call 0131 624 6268 or email email@example.com. Free.
The Thursday Club: an opportunity for local 8-11 year olds to be active, meet friends, try new activities and have fun! 5.30-7pm, Canongate Youth, South Bridge Resource Centre, Infirmary Street. 50p per session. For more information call Canongate Youth on 0131 556 9389 or see Facebook page.
Val McDermid and Sue Black – Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime. Val McDermid’s new book uncovers the secrets of forensic medicine, from the crime scene to the courtroom. Drawing on interviews with top-level professionals, ground-breaking research and her own experience, she lays bare the secrets of this fascinating science. Val will be in conversation with Professor Sue Black, one of the UK’s leading forensic anthropologists and the Director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at Dundee University. 7-8pm, King Khalid Building, The Royal College of Surgeons, off Hill Square. Free tickets are available from Blackwell’s South Bridge (in person, by calling 0131 622 8222 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org,) or via eventbrite.
The Scotland-Russia Forum: sparkling Russian/English conversation over tea and cakes. Everyone is warmly welcome to come along to the group, no booking required. 11am, Summerhall Cafe, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall. No charge apart from any drinks or food you may wish to purchase.
Medical Detectives Lecture: Professor Peter Sandercock, academic clinical neurologist, will speak on Unravelling the Mysteries of Stroke Disease – The Clue’s in the Numbers. 6-7pm, (doors open 5.40pm) Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Medical School (Doorway 3), University of Edinburgh, Teviot Square. Places should be booked via eventbrite.
Lunchtime Concert: KDKDK: piano duo Katharine Durran and Kirsteen Davidson Kelly perform Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. 1.10pm, Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, Bristo Square. Free and unticketed.
Bookbug: rhymes, songs and stories for babies and pre-school children. 10.30-11am, Fountainbridge Library, 137 Dundee Street. Free: no booking necessary.
La voce del corpo: The Voice of the Body. ‘A joyful, instructive perspective on that peculiar, non-verbal code of communication that makes Sicilians (and Italians) famous throughout the world.’ A film made exclusively in Sicily, in Italian and Sicilian with English subtitles. Director Luca Vullo will introduce the film and take part in a Q & A session after the screening. 6pm, Italian Cultural Institute, 82 Nicolson Street. Booking may be made here.
Thursday Club: Professor Alan Murray speaks on Why Should An Old Professor Care About A Chap Called Rupert Bear? 2pm, Upper Hall, Mayfield Salisbury Church Hall, 18 West Mayfield. All welcome, contact Florence Smith on 0131 663 1234 for more information.
Metamorphoses: Grey Area and Martin Parker. A concert which will include ‘Vertebrae’ for live electronics (2014), New work for cardboard box and live electronics (2014), Armin Sturm’s ‘Insects‘ for ensemble (2010) and Stockhausen’s Kontakte for 4-channel tape (1960). Sound projection by Sean Williams. 7.30pm, Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, Bristo Square. Free and unticketed.
Nelson Mandela: the Myth and Me. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison, filmmaker Khalo Matabane was an idealistic teenager with fantastical ideas about a post-apartheid era of freedom and justice. In a personal odyssey involving an imaginary letter to Mandela and conversations with politicians, world leaders, intellectuals and artists – from Henry Kissinger to the Dalai Lama – Matabane interrogates the meaning of freedom, reconciliation and forgiveness in a world of conflict and inequality, alternating his discussions between erudite scholars and survivors of apartheid. Khalo Matabane will be in attendance and will take part in a Q & A session after the screening. For ages 16+. 6-7.25pm, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall. Tickets £5: book online or call Summerhall on 0131 560 1581. Part of Africa in Motion: Scotland African Film Festival 2014.
Peter F Hamilton: The Abyss Beyond Dreams. Peter will discuss his new book, the first part in the Chronicle of Fallers series. 6pm, Waterstones West End, Princes Street. Tickets available from store, £3 or £2 with Waterstones’ loyalty card. For more information call 0131 226 2666.
Ecumenical Friends of St Cuthbert’s. Sarah Kilbey: You Shall Not Curse the Deaf – a ministry with deafened and hard of hearing people. All welcome: bring your own packed lunch, tea and coffee provided. 12.30pm, St Cuthbert’s Church, Lothian Road. £1.50 per person. Organised by Edinburgh City Centre Churches TOGETHER.
Literary Edinburgh: Works On Paper by Lucy Jones. Edinburgh artist Lucy Jones has drawn on the city’s rich literary heritage, seeking out buildings with a literary connection, both historical and contemporary, from national landmarks such as libraries, museums and monuments to writers’ houses and haunts. An avid collector of old maps and books, she constructs her collages with relevant texts and images, creating unique ‘building portraits’ which have a literary as well as a visual story. 10am-6pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. Free. Exhibition ends 6th December 2014.
Andrew Williams: The Suicide Club. Andrew will read from his new book, a First World War thriller set in 1917 Occupied Belgium telling the dark, disturbing and untold story of the shadow espionage battle fought behind the lines. 6.30-8pm, Waterstones, George Street. Free tickets are available from the shop. For more information call 0131 225 3436.