Charlotte Square’s finest

PETER BISKIND How Western cinema was very nearly won

The subtitle of Peter Biskind's last book made it a pretty easy sell. 'How the Sex- Drugs-and- Rock'n'Roll Generation Saved 'Hollywood’ meant picking up Easy Riders, Raging Bulls was less than a tricky chore. This time round, it's the main title which may get you all sweaty- palmed: Down and Dirty Pictures is somewhat more enticing than 'Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film'. Either way. Biskl ; latest film tract here in October) juicy trip which 7 the rise of US . independent film follows the path a r the Weinsteins an V; Robert Redford fro indie saviours to ' " something rather : ,' noble. Read all ab“ agents being chas r through hotels, find ., out why one of the ' Weinstein brothers (right) has been dubbed Harvey Scissorhands and discover who Biskind credits for singlehandedly saving indie film. I'll give you a clue: it's Stephen Soderbergh. I 18_Aug. 2pm. £7 (£5).


The Glasgow short story writer COLETTE PAUL takes on our Festival-related queries.

If you were handing out flyers for your event on the Royal Mile, how would you pitch it? Please come otherWise it‘ll Just be my mum.

Which other readings would you want to attend? Ideally I‘d see Muriel Spark and Doris Lessmg, killing two legends With one stone. I admire both of them. but I think I'd plump for Muriel Spark in the end: I've never read one of her books that didn't engross me from start to finish.

If you could bring back one writer from the dead to appear at a book festival, who would it be? Simone de Beauvou. Her series of memoirs espeCially MemOirs of a Out/fu/ Daughter and The Prime of Life - were truly inspiring to me. I loved her energy and drive to experience everything life had to offer and her determination to look at the world as honestly and clearly as she COuId. rejecting conventional religion and gender roles. Her romance With Sartre increasingly squeamish as her books went on and their coterie of friends and lovers made for absorbing reading. althOugh De Beaquir appears pretty monstrous in her own telling of some of these affairs. The omissions and repreSSions in her autobiographical work make them even mOre fasCinating.

If you had the chance to programme your own book festival, what would you do? Failing 12-hOur sunshine. I think this year's programme is pretty exciting as it is. Alice Munro and Anne Tyler w0uld be the cherry on the cake.

I Sophie Cooke 8 CO/ette Paul. 74 Aug. 8.30pm, £8 (£6i.


FESTIVAL BOOKS ‘Always read something that will make you look

good if you die in the middle of it' PJ O’Rourke

I Alexander McCall Smith

It's a packed field in Edinburgh for bestselling authors these days. but Sandy always has the perfect excuse to flee the chaos by heading to Africa for more book research. See preview.

14, 76 Aug, 8pm, £8 (£6).

I JK Rowllng The only woman who truly knows the fate of Harry Potter makes her first appearance in Charlotte Square for four years to read from The Order of the Phoenix. 15 Aug, 9am. Tickets balloted. I Lynne Franks The PR guru meets her fabulous public to talk about her new book, the ambitiously-titled GROW, and might be mildly upset if you ask her any questions about THAT programme. See preview. 76 Aug, 6.30pm, £8 (£6).

I Tony Benn The most charming man in British political life over the last quarter century will be musing over his past as detailed in The Weetabix Years, his latest substantial offering in the autobiography stakes. See preview. 16 Aug, 11.30am, £7 (£5).

I Jon Benson & '0ch Ryan The world of warped extremists is one which fascinates this pair with both having hung out with some particularly nasty types and survived to tell their respective tales. See preview. 17 Aug, 5pm, £7 (£5).

I Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- Time propelled this former teacher from a fine kids’ author into a gloriously successful crossover novelist, just as adored by the big folks these days. See preview. 18 Aug, 7pm, £8 (£6).

All events are based in Charlotte Square Gardens. The box office

number is 0131 624 5050 and the website is