Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, American novelist John Irving and
Booker-prize winner Ben Okri are among those appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Candace Bushnell will appear with authors from all over the world
The event is celebrating its 20th year with a
star-studded cast of speakers from across the literary spectrum.
The festival, which coincides with the Fringe, International and Film
Festivals being held in the city during August, features more than 550 authors
appearing at 650 events.
It begins on Saturday, with a reading by poet laureates Andrew Motion and Edwin
Morgan, the first of a series of morning readings which will continue throughout
Events later in the calendar include an assessment of the legacy of George
Orwell - who would have been 100 this year - and a debate on the relationship
between Christianity and Islam.
Talks by Tony Benn, Ian Rankin and Lord Winston also look set to prove popular
with audiences, which last year topped 169,000 for the festival.
Other authors appearing include Paulo Coelho, Iain Banks, Joanne Harris, and Generation X author, Douglas Coupland.
Festival director Catherine Lockerbie
said: "We've seen over the last few years an incredible growth in demand for
what the book festival offers: excitement, discovery, the chance for a really
"The public are hungry to talk about books and subjects of every kind, to
swap ideas with the world's leading thinkers, to feel their heads buzzing with
"For 2003, we've aimed to create a programme with some of the greatest names
in world writing, which will wet and feed that appetite even further."
The festival is being held in Charlotte Square Gardens and runs until 25 August.