FESTIVAL BOOKS | Previews
LGBTQIA+ VOICES AT THE BOOK FESTIVAL
From literary superstars like Ali Smith and Jenni Fagan to Young Adult voices and the best in non-ﬁ ction, LGBTQIA+ representation weaves its way through every strand of this year’s programme. Here are the top ﬁ ve events tipping off our gaydar this festival
JULIET JACQUES Juliet Jacques has chronicled the trans experience through her column ‘A Transgender Journey’ for several years, and her book Trans: A Memoir brings her own experience to the fore. Expect a personal and political exploration of gender and identity today from a leading writer in the i eld. 20 Aug, 5.45pm, £12 (£10). JEANETTE WINTERSON The big cheese of LGBTQIA+ writers, Jeanette Winterson brings her Shakespearean retelling, The Gap of Time, to the main stage. With luck she’ll reprise her one-woman performance that complements the novel; it’s an event you’ll not soon forget. 20 Aug, 8.15pm, £12 (£10).
SUE PERKINS Thanks to The Great British Bake Off, Scotland’s readers are big fans of Sue Perkins’ baking puns and sharp dress sense. See the woman behind the cake commentary in the main theatre, where she discusses the contents of her memoir, Spectacles. Laughs and swooning guaranteed. 21 Aug, 9.45pm, £12 (£10).
JUNO DAWSON Juno Dawson (pictured), the Young Adult author and ‘Queen of Teen’ returns to the festival with her latest guide for young people. Mind Your Head tackles mental health issues in an accessible way that keeps teenagers at the heart of the conversation. 26 Aug, 7pm, £5. GARTH GREENWELL A searing novel about desire and consequences in post-communism Bulgaria, Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You is one of 2016’s hottest literary debuts. A perfect way to end your Book Festival binge. 28 Aug, 6.30pm, £8 (£6). (Sasha de Buyl)
■ All events Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888.
32 THE LIST FESTIVAL 18–29 Aug 2016
PAUL MORLEY – BOWIE: LIFE OF A LEGEND Writer and broadcaster discusses the late music icon
Veteran writer and broadcaster Paul Morley’s new book on David Bowie, The Age of Bowie, is a real labour of love – an exhaustive, lyrical journey through many of Bowie’s personas, genres and influences. Having tackled Joy Division, the history of pop in Words and Music and most recently the inimitable Grace Jones with I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, The Age of Bowie is arguably Morley’s most personal book to date. He was part of the creative team behind the Victoria and Albert Museum’s sell-out retrospective exhibition David Bowie Is . . . in London in 2013.
When the world awoke in January to the shocking news that Bowie had died from cancer, Morley didn’t want to churn out the same trite soundbites as other cultural commentators – as a lifelong fan he was deeply affected. ‘I needed time to process this sudden information, that over the past few years, at times, seemed to be close enough to have expected such an eventuality,’ he says. Instead, his response was to write a book, examining the impact Bowie had, and continues to have, six months after his passing, in shaping the world. ‘So many Bowies: how do you keep up with them in a book, and try to keep him inside the pages as he constantly, provocatively moves somewhere else and becomes someone else?’ he asks.
It is this restless, shapeshifting spirit which permeates Morley’s dazzling publication. Joining him at the Book Festival as part of the Music and Meaning events is music critic and broadcaster Vic Galloway, who will be discussing the legacy Bowie left behind, and how modern culture has been affected. After all, as Morley says, ‘He should stay with us as much as the great writers and artists do, and that means we keep telling the stories, playing the music, inventing the theories, imagining the “what ifs”.’ (Lorna Irvine) ■ Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 25 Aug, 7.15pm, £12 (£10).
CARA ELLISON AND SIMON PARKIN Serial gamers ask if our obsession with video games is killing us
Cara Ellison and Simon Parkin both like to play video games. They write about them and like to talk about them too. In 2014, Ellison set herself a challenge: to live with and write about some of the most interesting game developers. After documenting her journey in Embed with Games, she won the New York Games Journalism Award earlier this year. In his first non-fiction book, Death by Video
Game, journalist Parkin explores the impact that video games have on our lives. He has uncovered real-life tales of obsessed gamers who go beyond their limits, those that have been all-consumed by the gaming world and die suddenly in dingy, dank internet cafés. Parkin, who is also known as ‘gaming’s Jon Ronson’ asks: ‘Why the hell do we all care about video games anyway?’ They’re two of the most informed gaming critics
around and in this Book Festival event they'll be talking about all things virtual. No need to bring your controller. (Tina Koenig) ■ Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 26 Aug, 8.30pm, £8 (£6).