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Edinburgh International Book Festival Unveils ‘The Front List’ at McEwan Hall for August 2024

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The Edinburgh International Book Festival has today announced its first author events for 2024, with a brand-new series called The Front List, taking place at the city’s iconic McEwan Hall throughout August, in a new partnership with Edinburgh Fringe producer, Underbelly.

The Front List will showcase an exciting programme of writers with nine events in the beloved Edinburgh venue, just a short walk from the wider Book Festival site at Edinburgh Futures Institute.  

The Front List programme will open on 10 August with modern legends of stage and screen, Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson, sharing some hilarious tales about their classic comedy characters from Victor and Barry’s Kelvinside Compendium.  On 12 August James O’Brien will appear fresh from his popular LBC radio show to discuss the current state of the UK and his book How They Broke Britian, while cult favourite author of Heartstopper – now a smash-hit Netflix series – Alice Oseman takes the stage on 13 August.

On 14 August, every millennial’s parasocial best friend, Dolly Alderton, will discuss her work, including her achingly funny second novel Good Material, and on 17 August the iconic, Booker Prize-winning Salman Rushdie appears live from his home in New York to offer a searing insight into his unforgettable new memoir Knife. YA favourite Sarah Crossan will appear at a special event for secondary school students as part of the Baillie Gifford Schools Programme on 21 August, while on 22 August prolific historical novelist Philippa Gregory explores her epic new take on feminist history in her enlightening new non-fiction title, Normal Women.

The programme will close with two exclusive pre-release events with authors talking about their new titles in public for the first time: Richard Osman – whose Thursday Murder Club series claimed a staggering 3 slots on The Sunday Times’ top 10 bestselling books of 2023 – discusses We Solve Murders, the first in his brand-new mystery series, on 24 August; and on 25 August the conversation-changing author and mental health activist Matt Haig, whose most recent book The Midnight Library has sold 9 million copies and counting, returns to the Festival to discuss his upcoming novel The Life Impossible.

Chairs for these events include Jackie Kay, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Wren James, Mishal Husain, and Chitra Ramaswamy, with more to be confirmed.

Tickets for The Front List events will go on sale to the public at 10am on Thu 25 April, with tickets available to book at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on and https://underbelly.co.uk/.

Most events in this series will be streamed live and made available on-demand for digital audiences, and all events will be BSL interpreted and captioned.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be presenting such a stellar line-up in a venue that will enable us to welcome more people than ever before, in partnership with our friends at Underbelly. These are just the first of our 2024 events, with a further incredible 500-plus still to be announced. Our Front List line up gives a taste of what’s to come ranging from history to mystery, hope to romance, politics to comedy – and featuring some of the best interviewers in the business, including Mishal Husain and our very own Jackie Kay. This marks the first release of events as we open an exciting new chapter for the Book Festival – we can’t wait to welcome audiences this August.”

Edinburgh International Book Festival Director, Jenny Niven

“This is such a great partnership to be part of, bringing together two of Edinburgh’s summer festivals in a crown jewel of the city, allowing a wider audience to see these amazing writers discuss their work in a venue with a fabulous and long history of speakers. We’re delighted that the Book Festival will be part of our wider and soon to be announced McEwan Hall programme.”

Underbelly Co-Director, Charlie Wood

The 2024 Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from 10 – 25 August, and takes place for the first time at the new Edinburgh Futures Institute on Lauriston Place. The full public programme will be announced on Tue 04 June.  

For more information on Edinburgh International Book Festival visit: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ 

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