Selection of Highlights for Tomorrow: Saturday 24 August
Photo of the Late Toni Morrison courtesy of Angela Radulescu [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
NEW EVENT: Beloved: A Tribute to Toni Morrison 8.30pm
Scots Makar Jackie Kay leads this special memorial event marking the life and work of a true modern literary legend, alongside writers Nafissa Thompson-Spires and Nesrine Malik, editor Margaret Busby, as well as publishers Clara Farmer and Lennie Goodings, each of whom have been moved, inspired and influenced by Morrison’s oeuvre in different ways. Join us in a warm, celebratory event paying tribute to Morrison with readings from her across her astonishing career, audio from her Book Festival appearance in 2004, and more.
John Lanchester 10.15am
How close is our society to dystopia? One of Britain’s most eloquent authors comes to the Book Festival to offer some imaginative clues. John Lanchester slides effortlessly between novels and non-fiction, but his latest book The Wall (longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize) is a science-fiction fable offering a chilling picture of a possible future. It depicts a country where everyone must take their turn as a Defender patrolling the Wall, which protects Britain from the Others, throwing up questions of duty, morality and what kind of a society we want for ourselves.
Pete Etchells 12.15pm
According to some people, video games are a threat to both our physical and mental health. Psychology lecturer and video games researcher Pete Etchells does not hold that view. Instead, he believes they can be of great benefit to individuals and, in his own case, had a positive effect in helping him grieve after the death of his father.
Women Talking by Miriam Toews 6.00pm
‘Brave’, ‘scorching’, are words used about Miriam Toews’s unforgettable story of oppression and resistance in a Bolivian Mennonite community, Women Talking. We’ve partnered with Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre and playwright Linda McLean to produce a theatrical response to this classic of feminist fiction. After the 45-minute performance, the creative team is joined on stage by Toews herself for a discussion about the ideas in the book.
In partnership with the Toronto International Festival of Authors and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Council.
Goenawan Mohamed 6.30pm
Goenawan Mohamad is a legend in Indonesia. A poet, essayist, playwright and editor, his decades of work amount to an incredible body of fiction and non-fiction. A champion of creative independence and journalistic freedom, he was among the writers and intellectuals who signed the 1963 Cultural Manifesto and is now a dissenting voice on social media. It is an honour to welcome him to the Book Festival to discuss his life and work.
Mathias Énard with Ece Temelkuran 7.00pm
Already recognised as one of France’s foremost authors, Mathias Énard came to worldwide attention when his masterpiece Compass was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Described as ‘one of the finest European novels in recent memory’, it is a sumptuous meditation on the West’s idea of the East. Today, Énard discusses Compassand his time spent living in the Middle East with Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran.
Lemn Sissay 8.45pm
One of Britain’s best loved poets, Lemn Sissay is a performer of rare passion. But growing up with foster families and in care homes, Sissay struggled with his identity. The discovery of his birth name and Ethiopian background is the catalyst for reflection in My Name is Why. Today, he meditates on home and identity as he presents his insightful memoir, exuding the creative energy that’s made him a literary phenomenon.
Changes to the Printed Programme:
2.00pm China: The Land That Failed to Fail – Steven Erlanger will now participate in this event.
7.30pm Radical Economics: The Fifth Industrial Revolution. Mariana Mazzucato has cancelled. Christine Borley & Diane Coyle will now participate in this event.
8.30pm Zawe Ashton – Zawe Ashton has cancelled
8.30pm NEW EVENT – Beloved: A Tribute to Toni Morrison