Book Talk: 'Stripped' at the Book Festival

Book Festival
Category: Reading

Ahh, summer. A time of long, lazy, warm(ish) days, holidays and, of course, festivals. Book Talk host Ryan Van Winkle is, naturally, particularly excited by the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which announced its programme last week and will start selling tickets on 28 June. He sat down with Janet Smith, director of the children’s programme, and EIBF director Nick Barley to find out what they’re most excited about this year.

Both are eagerly anticipating the intriguing lineup for fans of graphic novels and comics, which is called ‘Stripped’ and includes the Etherington Brothers, Neil Gaiman and many other authors and artists both famous and lesser known. Giving new or less famous writers a platform is a particular point of pride for Nick:

I think the real success of the Fringe and the Book Festival is the way they reveal new talent, and I’m really proud of Edinburgh and its ability to introduce new voices. They’re the superstars of the future.

But why the focus on graphic novels as opposed to more traditional tomes? Janet explains:

Something we’re trying to do with the program is to pull the children’s and adults’ programs more closely together so as you leave the world of children’s and young adult reading you know where you’re going as an adult reader. Neil [Gaiman] is brilliant for that because he sits so nicely between these two worlds and graphic novels are a perfect stepping stone.’

But what if graphic novels really aren’t your thing? There’s plenty more to see: authors discussing books that are meaningful to them; meditations on the past 30 years of the Book Festival and Scottish writing, as well as discussions of what the future may hold; a focus on Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists; and much, much more—over 750 authors in 800 events!

Hear more about this year’s EIBF, as well as the unusual places writer Kevin Barry finds his inspiration and why one painting means the world to Richard Holloway in the latest edition of Book Talk. Listen now, or subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes or PodOmatic and never miss an episode!

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