EdBookFest Day 16 – Rain and Revolution

Dear God of the Clouds – please turn off the rain tomorrow. We were all very cold and damp but couldn’t drag ourselves away from the mud and the books and the Festival full of interesting people who talk on topics from revolution, heartbreak, loss and love to sausage & mash and starfish.

Tomorrow is the final Story Shop – it’s been a lovely programme to run, with a supportive audience coming along each day to listen. When I add up the attendance figures, I think it’ll be aound 1,500 folk, coming to listen to Edinburgh’s emerging authors. Thank you one and all – we’ve heard some great stories.

I had a chance to see one of the Book Fest’s Guest Selectors, BBC correspondent Allan Little, chair a debate on the future of democracy, with three speakers from the Arab world: Ahdaf Soueif, Tamim Barghouti and Omar Robert Hamilton. It was a fiery evening, with the discussion over the governing styles of the US, UK, Russia and a focus on the Middle-Eastern countries.

The debate was very educational, and I will be reading up on some more of the literature and political science from the region: the panellists spoke passionately about corruption, unbalanced trade agreements, unfair exports to Israel and the shifts of power in the region that the Arab Spring is heralding. They foresaw confilct with Israel as inevitable, and explained why a Two State solution with Palestine would be an impossibility.

It proved a stark contrast to the opinions of CIA man Michael Scheuer is yesterday’s debate, who spoke about the Arab revolutions as disaster for the US and UK.

The Unbound session was Love’s Rebellious Joy, a party dedicated to Leith’s maverick man of letters, Paul Reekie, who passed away in 2010. Irvine Welsh, Gordon Legge and Laura Hird took part, along with Rebel Inc’s Kevin Williamson and an awful lot of musicians.

It was the biggest queue the Spiegeltent has seen this summer, as the whole of Leith attempted to get into the tent far, the rest waiting in the rain for the chance to sneak in.

Daily Shoe Challenge

Pistachio green leather shoes with a rather high heel – bit too high for the slippy boardwalks. These shoes came all the way over from Sydeny Road in Melbourne, Edinburgh’s sister City of Literature.

Despite the fish-scale nature of the shoes, they did not agree with the continual downpour, and I had to sit they by the fire in the yurt to dry out.

After the Fest, there will be a public vote for your favourite shoes.

The Shoe Challenge So Far >

Recent Stories

EdBookFest Day 14 – Jackie Kay, Jenni Murray & the Scottish Book Awards

EdBookFest Day 13 – Myths, Monsters and Chimney Pots

EdBookFest Day 12 – Mystery Book Sculptures & a Shoe Showdown

EdBookFest Day 11 – Soul Stealing, Story Shop & the Electric Lit Orchestra

EdBookFest Day 10 – Chairing, Yarns & a Literary Death Match

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