Beyond Unbound

While the Unbound programme takes over the Spiegeltent every night at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, it's the cherry on top of the day, each packed full of amazing authors from across the globe

Article by Heather McDaid | 01 Jul 2019

In its tenth edition, the spirit of Unbound runs beyond the Spiegeltent and has suffused events across the Book Festival programme. Here are just a few of the highlights beyond Unbound, offering an opportunity to extend a night out at the Book Festival with more words, stories, songs and debates.

Russ Litten & Chris McQueer
Saturday 10 Aug, 8.30pm
Chris McQueer has made waves since his debut Hings was published, offering hilarious and often dark short stories from the streets of Glasgow, and being dubbed "Charlie Brooker on Buckfast" in the process. McQueer debuts on the main festival programme alongside novelist Russ Litten, who has been compared to James Kelman through his first short story collection centring on Hull. Two authors who bring a strong sense of their cities, it's a cracking way to launch the festival.

DeRay Mckesson
Sunday 11 Aug, 5pm
One of this year's guest selectors, DeRay Mckesson is an activist who is best known for bringing the Black Lives Matter movement into existence, quitting his job and moving to Ferguson, Missouri to protest against the shooting of Michael Brown Jr – an unarmed African American teenager – by police. He joins the New York Times Race/Related editor, Lauretta Charlton, to discuss his incredible and powerful book On the Other Side of Freedom in this event, and will also appear across the festival chairing numerous events including Casey Gerald and Jeanne Marie Laskas. 

Candice Carty-Williams & Annaleese Jochems
Thursday 15 Aug, 8.30pm
When the word millennial appears, it tends to be accompanied by the claim that the generation has yet again killed off something random. But in this case, it's in reference to two fantastic books showcasing the millennial experience in upbeat and hilarious ways. Candice Carty-Williams' Queenie follows a Jamaican British woman searching for her identity and finding her feet after a breakup; Analeese Jochems's Baby has made similar waves in New Zealand. Both hilarious, both brilliant, it's going to be a fantastic event.

Raymond Antrobus & Joe Dunthorne
Sunday 18 Aug, 8.30pm
The book world has been taken by storm of late by Raymond Antrobus, whose debut collection The Perseverance explores themes of identity and the experience of living with deafness. Following on from a stellar performance last year as part of Out-Spoken Press' Unbound evening, he returns with a highly acclaimed debut to join Joe Dunthorne, who has made the leap from prose to verse in O Positive, a collection threaded with the trademark peculiarity and punch of his novels Submarine and The Adulterants. Two debut poets doing incredible work.

Jenny Lindsay
Tuesday 20 Aug, 8.30pm
Anyone who's been in touching distance of Scotland's spoken word scene will know the name Jenny Lindsay. Founder of Flint & Pitch, she's not only one of the core voices in the spoken word scene, but one of the driving forces in the country's stellar reputation in the artform. It's with excitement, then, that she brings her new collection This Script into the world – a powerful dose of poetry that has left audiences in awe. One not to miss. 

Kerry Hudson & Sarah Smarsh
Sunday 25 Aug, 1.30pm
Join two writers as they revisit their experiences of working-class life from both sides of the Atlantic. Award-winner Kerry Hudson explores what being poor means today in Lowborn, through returning to the poverty-stricken towns from her own life in the UK. She joins American author Sarah Smarsh who brings her book Heartland, bringing readers into the destitution of Kansas farming life and, in her words, "being broke in the richest country on Earth". The duo will explore one of the pressing topics of our time.

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