Comedian James Acaster and former Tory leadership candidate Rory Stewart are among the guests added for new events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Organisers of the festival, which runs from August 10 to 26, have announced the additions to this year’s festival, which is expected to feature approximately 900 authors.
Conservative MP Mr Stewart came fourth in the leadership contest but caught the public’s attention with his social media-focused “Rory Walks” across the country, inviting people to come and talk to him and ask questions.
The International Development Secretary has now been lined up to speak to the Guardian’s chief culture writer Charlotte Higgins about what Brexit Britain can learn from the world of literature on August 26 – the book festival’s final day.
Another new addition to the programme of events is Acaster, who will introduce his new memoir Perfect Sound Whatever at a late-night event on August 21.
The book is said to be Acaster’s love letter to the healing power of music as well as tales including how he once stole a cookie from Clint Eastwood.
There will also be commemorations for writer and illustrator Judith Kerr, who died earlier this year, with authors and fellow illustrators coming together to pay tribute to her work.
To mark the 300th anniversary of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, the BBC have commissioned a new series set to be broadcast this autumn exploring novels that shaped the world.
Ahead of the series, BBC Radio 2’s Book Club will be asking guests to discuss their favourites, from the established classics to the popular contemporary hits.
Stig Abell, journalist and editor of the Times Literary Supplement, is joined by novelists Alexander McCall Smith and Kit de Waal in the special event chaired by producer and radio presenter Joe Haddow on August 9.
Already announced for the festival are political heavyweights Gordon Brown in conversation with economist Branko Milanovic and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who will be speaking to award-winning Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy.
Major book launches at the festival include new novels from Salman Rushdie, Cressida Cowell, former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, Ann Cleeves – who is set to introduce her new detective – and Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead.