George R. R. Martin, author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series that became the basis for TV’s Game of Thrones, is among acclaimed writers attending this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival.
It is the first time he will have appeared at the festival, which runs this year between Saturday 9 August and Monday 25 August.
He will be joined by Outlander creator Diana Gabaldon, whose Scottish-set series about time travel and Jacobites is also undergoing adaptation into a big-budget American television series.
Writers returning to the festival include militant atheist Richard Dawkins, Jung Chang, Margaret Drabble, Max Hastings, and Lydia Davis, recent winner of the Man Booker International Prize.
Nick Barley, director of the festival, said it would provide “a crucial forum for dialogue, where we can listen to and learn from one another, particularly in this year of momentous events in Scotland”.
He added: “We offer a platform for emerging voices that are set to shape the world’s literary stage in years to come and launch some of the most talked-about books of the year.
“Whatever the outcome of the vote on 18 September, we provide a space to view the coming changes from the wider context of the historical events that brought us to where we are today – from the Battle of Bannockburn to the end of WWI and the British Empire, the creation of the Commonwealth, the recent economic hardships and even last month’s European Elections.”
The festival will include a strand called ‘Scotland’s Future’, which will include figures like Herald columnist Iain Macwhirter and former first minister Henry McLeish sketching out their vision of post-referendum Scotland. Linda Colley, James Robertson, Lesley Riddoch, and Tom Devine will also participate.
Tickets for the festival go on sale from 24 June. Full details of the programme, which features 900 participants from 47 countries, are available at edbookfest.co.uk.