Although the gates to our beloved Charlotte Square Gardens remain closed, we hope this year’s Book Festival – even in this new digital format – still holds something of the spirit and community of the physical experience. And it wouldn’t be the Edinburgh International Book Festival without celebrating the brilliant work of authors, writers and trailblazers who hail from our small country.
This August, we revel in some of the best writing from our shores, and also celebrate the fantastic work taking place as part of our Citizen Communities Project, which - in the face of the global pandemic - had to adapt to ‘a new normal’ and reimagine ways to connect communities and individuals both shielding and digitally excluded.
Having recently been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, it is no wonder that many people, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, are reaching for a copy of Shuggie Bain. Douglas Stuart has written this powerful debut novel drawing on his own life experiences.
Set in 1980s Glasgow, which seems to be unravelling under the weight of its own identity crisis, families struggle with unemployment, crushing poverty, and the waves of addiction that are engulfing much of the city. It is a book of both sadness and beauty, a chronicle of memorable characters, their defiance and hope in the face of the grim realities of life and survival.