Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day 19 of 18

Yesterday was RBS Schools Gala Day: the very last day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The gardens were full of balloons and bunting, the blue sky was full of sunlight, and the kids themselves were full of… good behaviour, surprisingly!

When the final happy class of tiny Book Festival fans left the gardens, the site was closed for 2010, and it was time to break out the ice cream. One more exciting August of literary dedication over with; and what an August it’s been.

Audiences at the Book Festival were captivated by…

  • Over 750 Book Festival participants from 50 countries
  • Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Seamus Heaney
  • Poets Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Keorapetse ‘Willie’ Kgositsile from South Africa
  • 10 of the 13 authors long-listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize
  • Exclusive pre-publication readings from Seamus Heaney, Will Self and Michael Frayn
  • The first appearance in Edinburgh of A S Byatt,
  • The delivery of the Donald Dewar Memorial Lecture by ex-Chancellor Alistair Darling
  • Launches of memoirs from Candia McWilliam, Vidal Sassoon and Nicholas Parsons
  • Unbound, our innovate and electrifying ‘mini-festival’
  • The unique debut authors up for our Readers’ First Book Award
  • A variety of stimulating themes, including our absorbing Elsewhere theme
  • Sell out events and record signing queues for children’s writers Robert Muchamore, Cressida Cowell and Julia Donaldson
  • The closing of the public programme with a moving tribute to recently-deceased Scottish Makar Edwin Morgan

Staff at the Book Festival…

To sum up, one of our lovely sponsors reported to us that as she left Charlotte Square gardens on the final day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, she overheard somebody say wistfully: “twelve whole months to wait”.

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