Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 17:56 UK

Book festival link to Australia

Nam Le (Pic: Joanne Chan)
Nam Le will be talking about his debut collection of stories, The Boat

Book festivals in Scotland and Australia are to exchange writers via a satellite link-up.

Vietnamese-born Nam Le is to speak at the Melbourne Writers' Festival but audiences in Edinburgh can take part in a question and answer session with him.

The Edinburgh Book Festival will then transmit Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie's event to Melbourne.

The events, on Sunday 24 August, are among almost 800 shows at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Catherine Lockerbie, the festival's director, said 30% of its shows had already sold out.

The Charlotte Square Gardens event with Mr Le is free.

He will be talking about his debut collection of stories, The Boat.

Ms Lockerbie said: "We are passionate about making possible things which would otherwise be impossible - as we did last year with our LongPen long-distance signing with Norman Mailer.

"This is another way of bringing writers together with readers, even if they are literally on the other side of the world.

"I have been very excited about Nam Le since I first heard about his work - and I am delighted that even though he is in Australia, we will be able to bring him into the heart of our festival.

"I'm equally pleased that the Melbourne audience will be able to be part of our event with Salman Rushdie."

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