Final Iain Banks book The Quarry published as writers prepare tribute at Edinburgh International Book Festival


Crime writers Ian Rankin and Val McDermid will pay tribute to the late Iain Banks at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

They will discuss the work of the author who died aged 59 on June 9, two months after revealing he had terminal gall bladder cancer.

Today's publication of his 29th book, The Quarry, brings to an end a hugely successful writing career that began with cult novel The Wasp Factory in 1984.

A host of literary names have been lined up to appear at the festival, now in its 30th year.

Salman Rushdie looks back on his writing career in one of 700 events in August, and Margaret Atwood chairs a discussion on genre.

Kate Mosse will talk on women in the 21st century and Neil Gaiman discusses the reshaping of modern fantasy.

BBC presenter Andrew Marr makes his first public appearance since having a stroke, organisers said. He will talk at the relaunch of his book The Battle For Scotland, first published in the 1990s.

Director Nick Barley said "This is not just a birthday but a celebration of an extraordinary generation of talent. The explosion of Scottish culture over the last 30 years has reverberated around the world and our writers, artists and performers have influenced all aspects of our lives.

"While we have prematurely lost one of our greatest authors just last week, we must also celebrate the next generation of writers who are distilling the world around us."

The festival will celebrate comics and graphic novels in a series of events under the title Stripped. Organisers have commissioned a new graphic novel edited by crime author Denise Mina who will also talk about her adaptation of Stieg Larsson's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

For children, recently appointed Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman introduces her new novel and Judith Kerr, the 90-year-old creator of the Mog series, discusses her life.

Janet Smyth, director of the festival's children and education programme, said "There is an extraordinary breadth and variety in writing for children and young adults today, and we are offering events for children, families, teenagers and young adults.

"The programme reflects the innovative and democratic nature of children's writing, encompassing illustrated books, graphic novels, comics and e-books as well as novels, poetry and even writing for stage and screen."

The festival runs from Saturday August 10 to Monday August 26. Full details of the programme are available from midday at and tickets go on sale on Friday June 28.