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Margaret Atwood among Edinburgh book fest headliners

Margaret Atwood is one of the big-name authors set to appear at this year’s revamped Edinburgh International Book Festival, which takes place Aug. 14–30. In a cross-festival program with the Edinburgh film festival, Atwood will engage architect Norman Foster in a conversation exploring the techniques used by filmmakers and writers for biographies, the Guardian reports. There’s a catch, however: in addition to the fact that Atwood and Foster are not, strictly speaking, biographers, the ever experimental Atwood will not appear in person, but via video hookup.

The popular fest, founded in 1983, is under the new direction of Nick Barley, who invited four guest “selectors” – Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, poet Don Paterson, literary editor Stuart Kelly, and Ruth Padel, the poet and great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin – to program this year’s event. From the Guardian:

Barley unveiled his first programme today, which features 750 authors. It includes a rare public appearance by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau in conversation with Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, three Nobel prize winners, including Joseph Stiglitz, the poet Seamus Heaney, the hairdresser Vidal Sassoon and an opening debate on Jesus between the atheist author Philip Pullman and former bishop of Oxford Richard Harries.

Other Canadians in attendance will include Emma Donoghue, Marina Endicott, Linden MacIntyre, Lisa Moore, Miguel Syjuco, Annabel Lyon, Doug Saunders, Jan Wong, Gwynne Dyer, and Leanne Shapton.

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Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

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