The Edinburgh International Book Festival is taking place in Edinburgh and is being beamed around the world with the benefit of technology from a couple of studios in the capital. You are invited to join in and Keep the Conversation Going.

Last night Val McDermid and Jo Sharp spoke to some of the contributors to the book they have curated and edited called Imagine a Country. As these essays were written pre-pandemic it was curious to hear the prophetic version of a different world dreamed up by Leila Aboulela. Quite eery how she said she had almost got what she wished for.

Here is the programme for today and remember everything is free on the book festival website.

Programme for today:  Thursday 20 August

9.30am Drawalong with Cressida Cowell.  Facebook @edbookfest

10:00am Magical Moggies with Philip Ardagh & Rob Biddulph

To watch this event – click here

11:30am Gabriela Cabezón Cámara: The Female Gaucho

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1:00pm Yoko Ogawa & Stephen Snyder: The Memory of Forgetting

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Please note this event will NOT be available to watch On Demand

2:30pm Tales of Two Planets: Making Climate Change Personal

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Please note – this event will NOT be available to watch On Demand

4:00pm James Naughtie: The USA, from Reagan to Trump

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5:30pm Dean Atta & George Lester: Shine On

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7:00pm Suzanne Bonnar, Joy Harjo & Jackie Kay

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8:30pm Garth Greenwell: Intimate Truths

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Programme for tomorrow:  Friday 21 August

9:30am Drawalong with Kate McLelland.  Facebook @edbookfest

10:00am Pony Pals with Kate McLelland

Isla and her mischievous miniature Shetland pony Pickle are the best of friends. But when they are invited to a pony party on the beach will Pickle be able to behave himself or will the party end with a cake-related disaster! Find out all about this adorable duo and watch as author and illustrator Kate McLelland reads and draws from her new book Isla and Pickle: The Pony Party.

This event is part of the Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme

To watch this event – click here

11:30am Wanjiru Koinange & Donna Obaseki-Ogunnaike: Outriders Africa – Sub-Saharan Swiping

As part of the Book Festival’s Outriders programme exploring the shifting landscapes of contemporary Africa, we turn to The Gambia and Senegal, where, like everywhere else, a maelstrom of taps and swipes has seen modern dating change beyond recognition.  During surprising, funny and moving conversations, they quizzed a vast array of women across the West African region about hookup culture, how their cities inspire companionship, and whether romance really is dead. Joined by writers Renee Akitelek Mboya and Efua Oyofo, two of the women they met along the way, Obaseki-Ogunnaike and Koinange today share their responses from these unforgettable interviews.

This event is supported by British Council

This is an audio event – to listen click here

1:00pm Writing Wrongs: Voices from the Queer Arab Vanguard

Novelist, memoirist and journalist Randa Jarrar, documentary playwright and theatremaker Raphael Khouri, and drag performer, writer and filmmaker Amrou al-Kadhi all join translator and editor Alice Guthrie to discuss and read from their luminous and potent work. Our panel of vibrant queer Arab writers show how queer lives, queer selves and queer expression continue to blossom, against the odds.

This event is supported by British Council

To watch this event – click here

2:30pm James Tait Black Prizes

Join this event as the Prize judges share their insights and the nominated authors discuss their books, before the live, much-anticipated announcement of this year’s Prizes. Who will join the illustrious list of winners of the James Tait Black Prizes, awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh? For further info on the Prizes go to: www.ed.ac.uk/events/james-tait-black.

This event is sponsored by the University of Edinburgh

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4:00pm Kirstin Innes: Who is Clio Campbell?

Written from the perspective of those who loved (and hated) her most, and taking in everything from Top of the Pops to IndyRef along the way, Scabby Queen will have you hooked. Kirstin Innes joins Heather Parry to discuss how she ended up creating a novel that zips between daffy state-of-the-nation meditation and fantastic, elastic character study.

To watch this event – click here

5:30pm  Alain Mabanckou: Rewriting the Congolese Story

The luminary Mabanckou talks to award-winning writer, critic and cultural journalist Maya Jaggi, reflecting on the highs and lows of a career spanning four decades, and his enduring ability to boil the sweeping grand narratives of African history into exuberant, mischievous family dramas.

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7:00pm Lola Olufemi & Minna Salami: Critical Reflections on Feminism

Nigerian-Finnish writer and lecturer Minna Salami is a powerhouse of feminist thinking and organising whose first book of essays is Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone.  Salami joins writer and activist Lola Olufemi, author of Feminism, Interrupted. Olufemi is an organiser with the London Feminist Library and co-founder of FLY, Cambridge University’s network for women and non-binary people of colour.  In conversation with feminist historian Jade Bentil, Salami and Olufemi discuss the big ideas around empowerment, inclusion and activism and how (in Salami’s words) ‘we see ourselves, our history, and our world’.

This event is sponsored by the Open University

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8:30pm Frans Timmermans with Gordon Brown: The Way Forward for Europe

In this special conversation for the Edinburgh International Book Festival Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Commission’s European Green Deal,  sits down with former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss the politics of environmental change. How much action is needed for meaningful change? What are the roadblocks to genuinely ending Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels? And what does a green recovery from COVID-19 look like?

This event is part of our Ideas for Our Times: The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Event Series 

To watch this event – click here