altBook yourself a seat to see some of today’s most exciting authors talking about their work. Mark Fisher browses the bestsellers.

TARIQ ALI
25 August, 4.30pm

A chance for the forthright author to reflect on 20 years of work as he comes to the end of his Islam Quintet with the publication of Night of the Golden Butterfly.

MARTIN BELL
18 August, 6.30pm

The ex-BBC man reinvented himself as the voice of honesty in politics, putting him in prime position to reflect on the expenses scandal.

Book yourself a seat to see some of today’s most exciting authors talking about their work. Mark Fisher browses the bestsellers.

TARIQ ALI
25 August, 4.30pm

A chance for the forthright author to reflect on 20 years of work as he comes to the end of his Islam Quintet with the publication of Night of the Golden Butterfly.

MARTIN BELL
18 August, 6.30pm

The ex-BBC man reinvented himself as the voice of honesty in politics, putting him in prime position to reflect on the expenses scandal.

FATIMA BHUTTO
15 August, 3pm

A woman who knows only too well the perils of political life talks about the experience of having several close family members assassinated in the course of Pakistan’s turbulent struggles for power.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN
28 August, 9.30pm

The success of Kitchen Confidential wasn’t all good for the American chef and, in Medium Raw, he reveals the dark side of celebrity, warts and all.

HEATHER BROOKE
21 August, 12pm

Without Brooke, the expenses scandal would never have broken. Here the campaigning journalist talks about parliamentary transparency and her years of frustration trying to get straight answers.

ALISTAIR DARLING
17 August, 6.30pm

The last chancellor of the exchequer gives a first-hand insight into three crucial years at 11 Downing Street, in one of his first public appearances since returning to life as a backbencher.

LOUIS DE BERNIERES
16 August, 3pm

The Captain Corelli’s Mandolin will no doubt charm the audience once more with his latest set of tales, reflecting on his Surrey childhood.

RODDY DOYLE
26 August, 11.30am

Lots to talk about as the Booker-winning author considers more 20th century Irish history in The Dead Republic and presents the short story he has written for the Book Festival’s Elsewhere project.

GAVIN ESLER
19 August, 1.30pm

The Newsnight co-presenter knows all about real-life politics, which gives him a distinctive perspective in his second career as a writer of political thrillers.

MICHEL FABER
15 August, 6pm

One of the authors commissioned by the Book Festival to produce a story about the idea of elsewhere talks about why he chose to write about a woman who says she’s been abducted by aliens.

FREDERICK FORSYTH
30 August, 4.30pm

The highly popular thriller writer has produced another page-turner in the form of The Cobra, about cocaine cartels.

NORMAN FOSTER & DEYAN SUDJIC
18 August, 1.30pm

Time for some heavyweight architecture discussion as Foster, the designer of the new Wembley Stadium and Beijing airport, talks to Sudjic, the leading critic who has written a book about him.

ANTONIA FRASER IN CONVERSATION WITH IAN RANKIN
30 August, 3pm

The late Harold Pinter was himself a big draw in the Book Festival. Here, his widow looks back at their relationship with family friend and Rebus author, Ian Rankin.

AC GRAYLING
21 August, 4.30pm

The leading philosopher looks back to Plato and Aristotle as he considers the fundamental question of freedom of speech and the knotty problems it throws up.

JOANNE HARRIS
27 August, 11.30am

The Chocolat author has captured the mood of the times with her latest thriller, Blue Eyed Boy, about a man who reinvents himself on the internet.

SEAMUS HEANEY
24 August, 6.30pm

One of the Book Festival’s hottest tickets, the great Irish poet reads from his latest work, Human Chain.

FERGAL KEANE
14 August, 12pm

The BBC war correspondent uses his first-hand experience to make sense of the 1944 battle in which British and Indian troops came face to face with a ferocious Imperial Japanese Army.

SHAPPI KHORSANDI
22 August, 12pm

The stand-up comedian explains what it was like growing up in London after her family escaped Iran in fear of their lives.

HANIF KUREISHI
24 August, 11.30am

The writer of My Beautiful Laundrette and The Buddha of Suburbia talks about his sometimes controversial short story collection.

ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH IN CONVERSATION WITH ANDREW SACHS
24 August, 8pm

The much loved Edinburgh author is making a number of appearances in the Book Festival, but this one promises to be the liveliest as he is joined by actor Andrew Sachs .

CANDIA MCWILLIAM
19 August, 8.30pm

The leading author comes with a remarkable story. Not only has her sight returned after a period of blindness, but so too  has her creative muse after she was stumped by writer’s block.

HILARY MANTEL
23 August, 11.30am

Wolf Hall is a doorstopper of a book and required extensive historical research. Hear the best-selling Booker prize-winner explains how she got the measure of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.

DAVID MITCHELL
22 August, 11.30am

No, not the Peep Show comedian, but the brilliant author of Cloud Atlas, who is gathering acclaim for his latest novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

JOYCE CAROL OATES
29 August, 11.30am

With a back catalogue exceeding 50 novels, the brilliant American author has another two to talk about, this time concentrating
on the idea of young people and sexuality.

DBC PIERRE
22 August, 8pm

The author of Vernon God Little considers the fate of a generation hooked on hedonism in his third novel, Lights Out in Wonderland.

PHILIP PULLMAN
14 August, 11.30am

Atheists to the left, believers to the right, as the author of His Dark Materials goes head to head with Richard Harries, the former bishop of Oxford, in a discussion about who Jesus really was.

VIDAL SASSOON
27 August, 6.30pm

You might go in search of hair-care tips, but you will leave illuminated by a life story of East London poverty and fighting for
a fledgling Israel.

ZADIE SMITH
17 August, 3pm

The White Teeth author focuses not on her own fiction but on the work of other writers, inspired by her collection of essays, Changing My Mind.

POLLY TOYNBEE AND DAVID WALKER
29 August, 3pm

As the country adjusts to a new political order, the leading commentators reflect on the Blair-Brown years and the rise and fall of New Labour.

FAY WELDON
16 August, 1.30pm

The prolific novelist talks about her latest work, Kehua!, an amusing look at life in suburban London.

JEANETTE WINTERSON
16 August, 11.30am

The author reflects on the significance of her groundbreaking novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

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