A magical moment in the dark

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has been part of my life for 40 years. I first visited as a student thrilled by listening to favourite authors in-person, as an adult discovering authors who opened new horizons for me, then as a Mum to young children who adored not just the events but the promise of a new book and an ice cream in the garden, and now as a member of the Board honoured to be serving this Festival which has given my family and I so much joy.

So many wonderful moments over the years. My absolute favourite was in 2019, listening to Casey Gerald in conversation with DeRay Mckesson: two extraordinary individuals speaking with passion and insight about racial and masculine identity. Mid-event a lightning storm rolled in and the Bookfest team had to power down the site for safety reasons – no lights, no microphones. Undaunted, Casey and DeRay continued their conversation in the dark – rain drumming down, thunder rumbling – creating the most intimate, engaging atmosphere in the tented theatre. Truly magical and memorable!


Irene Grant