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The Edinburgh International Book Festival moves online

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The Edinburgh International Book Festival will bring together authors from around the world as it moves this year’s online event.

The organizers announced over 140 online events for adults and children for 17 days, from Saturday 15 August to Monday 31 August.

Live conversations, discussions and readings will be held by 200 authors from over 30 countries around the world.

The festival will host live online book signatures, where members of the public can chat face-to-face with the authors and get a signed book by purchasing a copy through the festival’s online shop.

All events will be accessible for free through the festival website.

Festival director Nick Barley said: “It has been an act of trust for everyone involved, but in these extraordinary months we have managed to transform the way we deliver our festival, bringing writers and readers together in a new online space of discussion and imagination.

“Despite the challenges, I was inspired by the authors’ enthusiasm to try this new approach, joining us in Edinburgh from all over the world without having to leave their homes.

“As society seeks ways to make sense of the new reality, it is clearer than ever that books and writers offer a framework for constructive dialogue and to share bold new ideas.”

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a photocall at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Jane Barlow / PA)

Participants include the double Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel and Utopia Avenue author David Mitchell.

2019 Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo will join Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon in an event and Irish author Marian Keyes will discuss his latest bestseller Grown Ups.

The Scottish talent joining the online festival includes Alexander McCall Smith, who will chat with former Scottish conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Edinburgh International Book Festival has long been one of the highlights of the Edinburgh Festival calendar, bringing together some of the best authors in the world and the best of contemporary Scottish talent.

“The Scottish government has continued to support the festival and since 2008 has funded over £ 1.3 million through its Festivals EXPO fund.”

Attending international voices include Samantha Power, a former war correspondent and United States ambassador to the United Nations, who holds the Frederick Hood memorial conference.

The festival will also host an interview with the winner of the International Booker Prize 2020, which will be announced on August 26th.

Full details of the 2020 International Edinburgh International Book Festival are available on edbookfest.co.uk and all events are free.

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