Edinburgh International Book Festival – Top Picks

Captivating memoirs, thought-provoking discussions: from new novelists to our most celebrated authors

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Malorie Blackman
Photo by Paul Akinrinola
Published 10 Aug 2023

Malorie Blackman: Writing My Story Spark Theatre

Spark Theatre, Tue 22 Aug, 12pm

Just Sayin' is Malorie Blackman's memoir charting her journey from a south London bookworm into one of the UK's most celebrated authors. In this event, Blackman speaks to novelist Alex Wheatle about her book, which delves into the obstacles of societal racism and her diagnosis of sickle cell anaemia.

Bernardine Evaristo: On Never Giving Up

Baillie Gifford Sculpture Court, Fri 25 Aug, 5pm 

In her memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up, Bernardine Evaristo discusses the courage, honesty and hope needed for success. The Booker prize winning writer will be chatting with Scottish playwright and poet Hannah Lavery. 

Jenni Fagan: I Was Not Meant To Be Here

Baillie Gifford Sculpture Court, Fri 25 Aug, 8.30pm

In conversation with journalist Terri White, Jenni Fagan introduces her memoir Ootlin at the Book Festival, detailing her childhood experiences in the care system and how storytelling helped shape her life. 

Mikaela Loach: Changing the Climate Narrative

Spark Theatre, Sat 12 Aug, 7pm 

Mikaela Loach's new book It’s Not That Radical is a fresh and panoramic look at climate action. The Edinburgh-based activist and writer is sitting down with Gemma Cairney to discuss how best we can carry out change. 

K Patrick: Summer of Desire

Spark Theatre, Sun 20 Aug, 5.15pm

Mrs S is an extraordinary debut novel that unfolds over an intense summer at a girls boarding school. Author K Patrick discusses her work with novelist Harry Josephine Giles. 

Colson Whitehead: Harlem Through a Kaleidoscope

Baillie Gifford Sculpture Court, Tue 15 Aug, 8.30pm 

Colson Whitehead, double Pulitzer prize-winner, returns to Edinburgh to discuss Crook Manifesto, the second novel in a series set in 1960s and 70s New York. Whitehead will be talking with writer Jess Brough.