Appetites for premium-price events peak at literary festival as readers jostle to see their favourite authors performThis August roughly 200,000 members of the public will stream through the entrance of the Edinburgh international book festival, hungry for debate, ideas and a sight of their favourite authors.But this year authors from American humorist David Sedaris and crime novelist Val McDermid to the national poet of Scotland, Liz Lochhead, are appearing all over the wider festival fringe, holding their own against comedians, cabaret acts and circus: proof, if any were needed, of the rise and rise as the author-as-performer in contemporary British culture.McDermid has spoken at 29 of the 30 annual Edinburgh international book festivals. This year, though, was also her fringe debut, appearing in the 800-seat ballroom of the city’s grand Assembly Rooms, a venue that is also fielding stand-ups such as Janeane Garofalo and Ardal O’Hanlon.She was paid “over twice as much” as her £150 book-festival fee, to deliver a slickly rehearsed talk on subjects from the detective story’s role in sublimating our violent desires – “Who hasn’t wanted to kill their news editor?” she recalled of her years as a reporter – to reinventing the Bible as a crime …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books