Posts tagged ‘Edinburgh International Book Festival’

September 5, 2015

Do It Like A Woman

Do It Like A Woman Caroline Criado Perez

The last event I attended on the final day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival was an event centred around feminism: In Praise of Pioneering Women by Caroline Criado-Perez.  Caroline was catapulted into media attention after she started the campaign to put an inspirational woman on the £5 note.  Her campaign led to her being viciously trolled on social media and subsequently the Crown

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September 5, 2015

Meera Syal at The Edinburgh International Book Festival

Meera Syal House of Hidden Mothers

Poor Meera Syal, the expectations were so high from the audience around me and indeed myself that she would be incredibly sharp and witty and have us in stitches that once the discussion started and it became clear that it was all about surrogacy and motherhood (the main subjects her fictional book centres around) we were a little disappointed.

Of course Meera should want to promote her new book, The House of Hidden Mothers, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just not

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August 30, 2015

Understanding Islam and Muslims

Islam Carole Hillenbrand

Soft spoken, calm and a leading authority on Islam, Carole Hillenbrand is a Professor of Islamic History at both Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities. Her new book, Islam: A New Historical Introduction aims to allow readers to gain a sensitive understanding of the essential tenets of the religion and of the many ways in which the present is shaped by the past.

The author’s hour long event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was the perfect split between highlights from her book and questions from the eager audience.  I thought this event would be too much of a niche interest but interestingly it sold out. We can’t

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August 27, 2015

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Bidisha & Mohammed Osborne

Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Bidisha

For a few seconds, time stopped and the audience dropped a collective jaw as Yasmin Alibhai-Brown asked if we knew that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s brother was a Muslim convert, Mohammed Osborne. No we didn’t! But…but… how did that happen?

exotic_england_ Yasmin Alibhai Brown

It was a sell out session with the charismatic journalist and writer,

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August 23, 2015

The Challenge of Things, A C Grayling

AC Grayling The Challenge of Things

Professor of Philosophy, A C Grayling gave a wonderful presentation of essays yesterday afternoon at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. His new book is a collection of essays of a variety of subjects quite like in the ‘pre-novel’ era when essays were highly regarded.

An example of of one of his adapted essays: In the future would developing countries look to China as a model for development rather that the West and democracy? The Chinese model works well

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August 22, 2015

Forensic Science with the C.S.Aye Team

Val McDermid

Without the snazzy graphics and collagen-filled lips of the real C.S.I. the totally fabulous C.S.Aye team consisted of internationally acclaimed crime writer, Val McDermid and forensics expert extraordinaire, Niamh Nic Daeid who often appears on BBC Radio 4 to explain forensic science to the general public with ease and she was interviewed for the wonderful Life Scientific programme.

The hour in their company at the Edinburgh International Book Festival event flew by and it was full of fascinating information about a world that most of us are rarely touched by but nonetheless find

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August 20, 2015

Why Did Europe Conquer The World?

Why did Europe conquer the world

In 1914, 84% of the world was under colonial rule from a European nation. Quite an achievement considering that Europe makes approximately 8% of the world’s land mass. These were some of the attention-grabbing opening lines of economic historian, Philip T Hoffman’s event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

How did that happen?

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August 18, 2015

Mecca, The Sacred City?

Mecca the Sacred City by Ziauddin Sardar

Ziauddin Sardar at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015

I arrived at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today for my first book event of this year’s packed programme, brolly in hand and wearing two layers of cashmere. Yes, it is August, welcome to Summer in Scotland.

Ziauddin Sardar’s new book, Mecca The Sacred City was the topic of discussion and the charismatic author was full of hilarious anecdotes and opinions of Saudi Arabia that mirror my own. Of course, unlike him, I’m not a respected scholar nor have I spent time living there.

It is in the direction of Mecca and the Ka’aba that all Muslims turn to when (or if) they pray. Mecca is the birth place of the Prophet and pilgrimage to the Ka’aba is one of the five pillars of Islam, a duty for all Muslims. So why do the guardians of the holiest sites in the Islamic behave like ‘cultural terrorrists’? Ziauddin Sardar is no fan of

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