Edinburgh Festival 2014: Books and art events from George RR Martin to Jeremy Paxman

The creator of Game of Thrones will make two appearances at the Edinburgh Book Festival

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The Independent Culture


The prospect of Jeremy Paxman let off the leash in his own stand-up show is mouth-watering. In this hour-long show he promises to talk about beards, underpants and the human condition. Just don’t ask him to comment on the weather.

18 to 25 August, Pleasance Courtyard  (0131 556 6550)

George R R Martin

The creator of Game of Thrones will make two appearances at the Edinburgh Book Festival. In the first, he will discuss his inspirations and his characters; in the second, his feelings about the mega-hit television adaptation of his novels.

11 & 12 August, Charlotte Square Gardens  (0845 373 5888)

Haruki Murakami

The rarely interviewed Japanese author of Norwegian Wood will launch his new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage at the Book Festival.

23 & 24 August, Charlotte Square Gardens (0845 373 5888)

American Impressionism: A New Vision

A crowd-pleasing survey of late 19th-century American art, focusing on Mary Cassatt, James McNeil Whistler and John Singer Sargent.

To 19 October, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (0131 624 6200)

Letters Home

Four top-notch writers – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Christos Tsiolkas, Kamila Shamsie and Kei Miller – were commissioned by the Book Festival to write short stories on the themes of identity and home. These have been adapted into a promenade theatre piece by Grid Iron, directed by Zinnie Harris, which takes place in and around the site every day.

9 to 25 August, Charlotte Square Gardens  (0845 373 5888)


The Scottish National Galleries are staging Generation, a survey of 25 years of contemporary Scottish art, featuring sculpture by Karla Black, Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho, David Shrigley’s woodcuts and works by Turner Prize winners Martin Boyce and Simon Starling.

To 2 November, National Galleries of Scotland (0131 624 6200)

Sketch Comic

Every morning from 10am to 12pm, Phill Jupitus will head for one of the city’s three main galleries to sketch some of his favourite works and encourage others to join him. On Thursday evenings he and fellow stand-up and art historian Hannah Gadsby will give free art lectures.

4 to 22 August, National Galleries of Scotland (0131 624 6200)