UK reading habits an embarrassment, says Edinburgh book festival director…

The Guardian 11.06.2015

Nick Barley announces writers from 55 countries at festival will shake up Britain’s parochial readers and showcase Scotland as an outward-looking nation.

Val by Mimsy Moller
Scottish crime writer Val McDermid will be interviewed by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The UK’s parochial reading habits are an embarrassment, according to the director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Nick Barley has introduced his sixth and most globally ambitious programme, which includes authors from North and South Korea, as well as first minister Nicola Sturgeon interviewing her favourite Scottish crime writer, Val McDermid.

Describing the festival, which runs from 15 to 31 August in Edinburgh’s Charlotte square, as “the most international ever attempted in Britain”, Barley accepted that many names would not be familiar to a British audience. “But what I want to get across is that these people are megastars in their own countries,” he said.

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