Books

Review: Teju Cole, EIBF 2017 Rating 98%

Review: Teju Cole, EIBF 2017

There are some people who are simply a pleasure to listen to and learn from, who exude such easy intelligence and warmth that you leave their presence with renewed hope about the power of art and writing – Teju Cole is such a person. The multi-award winning, American-born Nigerian writer of Open City, returned to Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss his new work, Blind Spot, a cross-genre work featuring photography and text which explore the worlds of vision and writing.

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Review: Julia Hobsbawm, EIBF 2017 Rating 90%

Review: Julia Hobsbawm, EIBF 2017

From the outset, Julia Hobsbawm’s chutzpah is apparent. In age of endless data creation and manipulation, of speed and deadlines, of efficiency and complexity, here stands a business woman saying, ‘wait, a second – what on earth are we doing?’ Her book, Fully Connected, argues not to return to a time of wistful nostalgia, to those pre-internet days when apparently we all got on and understood one another, but instead to pause for a moment and reassess whether the route we are going down is an altogether healthy one (she points to how global productivity is stagnant, for instance).

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Review: Johan Norberg, EIBF 2017 Rating 85%

Review: Johan Norberg, EIBF 2017

The event begins with the chair, Julia Hobsbawm, asking the audience to raise their hands if they currently felt optimistic about the world, and predictably only a few hands fly into the air. Johan Norberg, a Swedish academic and author of Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, smiles knowingly. He knows this is the case and knows that this is why we are all here: because we want to be convinced otherwise. 

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Review: Harry Giles and Katherena Vermette, EIBF 2017 Rating 90%

Review: Harry Giles and Katherena Vermette, EIBF 2017

“This is a nice way to meet the audience!” trills our host, Ryan Van Winkle, as he passes out little red books to a roomful of expectant listeners. Inside, excerpts of ten writers’ work. Five are Scottish, and five are from the Americas. The Outriders project, of which this book is just a small part, saw these writers paired together not only to share stories, but to travel together in different corners of the New World, which of course is the Old World too, though this is often forgotten. 

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Review: Limmy, EIBF 2017 Rating 75%

Review: Limmy, EIBF 2017

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is fabulous for throwing some curveballs into their programme, and this event was precisely that, bringing in a different audience than usual and keeping things live, fresh and damn right funny.

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Review: Tariq Ali – Revolutionary Road, EIBF 2017 Rating 87%

Review: Tariq Ali – Revolutionary Road, EIBF 2017

An expectant queue snakes around the boardwalk that rings the wet Saturday morning grass of Charlotte Square Gardens. Edinburgh’s International Book Festival may have just begun, but the venue is sold out and there’s that unmistakable ripple of pre-event anticipation travelling up and down the line. We’re here to see Tariq Ali, who will be discussing his most recent book, The Dilemmas of Lenin, published in commemoration of the Russian Revolution’s centenary. 

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Extract from Scotland Your Scotland, EIBF 2017

On Wednesday 16th August Andrew O’Hagan was invited by the Edinburgh International Book Festival to deliver a keynote lecture on the future of Scotland. O’Hagan argues the question is now beyond nationalism but about the country’s potential as a progressive, enlightened, international country of the future. The Fountain is pleased to publish an extract from the beginning of the keynote.

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Laura Cumming: The honour of winning this prize

Entering the main entrance, past the ticket booths and into the picturesque garden area of Charlotte Gardens, one would be forgiven for forgetting the roaring hustle and bustle of the Edinburgh Fringe situated on the opposite side of Princes Street. But here we are now, in a quaint area of Scotland’s capital where the 70th Edinburgh International Book Festival is being held; where old and young, student and professor alike nestle captivated eyes into books big and small. 

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Michael Pedersen: They are fantastically bizarre, confusing and conflicting aliens

“I want this to be a poetry book for people that don’t normally read poetry.”
That’s how Michael Pedersen described his new collection in a conversation with The Fountain. Created in collaboration with Frightened Rabbit’s lead singer Scott Hutchison, Oyster is Pedersen’s second publication with Polygon Books, a tragic yet playful collection of poetry and illustrations.

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