Basking in Sunshine at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Scotland basked in glorious sunshine during my recent vacation, which included a day at Edinburgh International Book Festival.

IMG_7880The Festival ran from 10-26 August, and included “creative, joyful, and interactive experiences with the world’s finest writers and thinkers.”

I joined the happy crowds on Sunday 25 August.

Disaster Planning

IMG_7919Mike Berners-Lee who is a sustainability expert, and author of “There is No Planet B” spoke eloquently in The Spark Theatre on George Street, as part of The WWF Series.

The series brought “together environment specialists, scientists and activists to ask: how can we avert disaster?”

Meet Your Favourite Authors

If you could not attend your favourite authors talks, there was still a chance to buy their books, and perhaps have them signed.


Climate Justice

I was unable to attend a talk by former Irish President Mary Robinson, but I did manage to buy a pre-signed copy of her book “Climate Justice.”

A review post is scheduled for Monday 23rd.

Climate Justice 1

The Ageing Process


I enjoyed a much needed cold drink and a seat beneath a shady tree, before attending a very thought provoking discussion from two authors – Nicci Gerrard author of “What Dementia Teaches Us About Love,” and Elizabeth Hay whose memoir “All Things Consoled” writes of “caring for her parents in their final years.”

Both authors answered some very profound questions and provided much food for thought.


Extraordinary Injustice

The final event I attended was part of Amnesty International’s Imprisoned Writers Series, and the most powerful and humbling event of my day.


The Chair

This event was chaired by Kasey McCall-Smith, a lecturer in Public International Law and Programme Director for the LLM in Human Rights at the University of Edinburgh, who is “currently involved in a multi-year project examining variable international law issues relating to detention operations and military commissions in Guantanamo Bay as well as the implementation of children’s rights in Scotland.”

The Readers

Kerry Hudson author of “Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma,” Nesrine Malik columnist and feature writer for The Guardian and author of “We Need New Stories: The Fortress of Corrupt Ideas and How to Tear it Down,” Vivian French, a prolific author of more than 250 books, and Joanna Kavenna author of “Zed,” with a history of fellowships at St Antony’s College, Oxford and St John’s College, Cambridge – each read testimonies from people who have experienced rendition.

The Writers

Abu Zubaydah, who remains in Guantanamo, Mansoor Adayfi who is working on a memoir of his time as a detainee, and Mohamedou Ould Salahi author of “Guantanamo Diary” – the first book to be written by a detainee, and now published in 25 languages, were not present in body at Edinburgh International Book Festival, but their spirits were present in their powerful words.

I left the festival feeling both humbled and inspired.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.





  1. I have never been to a book festuval, your post really gives a great flavour of what to expect.

    Such interesting sessions. Published authors from Guantanamo bay, that is amazing and interesting. And i like the title there is no planet b, instead of plan b; quite a statement.

    Thank you for sharing this, it certainly opened up my world.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a fantastic festival to attend and it looks like you had a great overview, I would find it hard to pick just one talk to attend! Our own Word Festival is coming up and I adore sitting under the tents listening to poetry and words…

    Thank you for stopping by my site, Brigid! I hope to spend more time catching up when fall officially arrives.

    Liked by 2 people

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