Stories abound at book festival

The Borders Book Festival 2022 – which returns to Harmony Garden, Melrose on June 16-19 – will this year be opened by Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE, in aid of Race Against Dementia, as part of the book festival’s celebrations of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 3:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 3:47 pm
Scotland's king of speed, Sir Jackie Stewart, will officially open this year's Borders Book Festival.
Scotland's king of speed, Sir Jackie Stewart, will officially open this year's Borders Book Festival.

Winner of three Formula One World Championships and twenty-seven grands prix, Sir Jackie will take to the stage to talk about both his racing career and life after F1. Since retirement he has built a stellar business career, but has also fought hard for causes he believes in, including Race Against Dementia, the charity he founded to work towards prevention and cure of dementia – a cause very close to his heart.

The unique event at the Borders Book Festival is part of the national Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 campaign, celebrating the wealth of stories inspired by, written or created in Scotland.

The four-day book festival programme is interwoven with events that celebrate Scotland’s stories and is supported by the Year of Stories 2022, bringing iconic stories and storytellers together with events including Gavin Esler, Val McDermid, Alexander McCall Smith, Andrew Marr, Victoria Crowe with Christine De Luca.

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Alistair Moffat, festival director, said: “Stories are what we’re all about.

"They’re as vital to us, as human beings, as are food and water, and are how we define ourselves, recognise ourselves, reflect, improve and heal.

"Scotland’s Year of Stories could not have come at a more perfect time for celebration, as we are, at last, allowed to come together in a shared space to throw our stories – collective and individual – into the melting pot and watch them become something new, exciting and uplifting for us all to take away and on which we can build new narratives of our own.”

Inimitable Scottish impressionists Rory Bremner, Ronni Ancona and Lewis MacLeod will also take to the book festival stage with an exclusive event, The Scottish Impressionists, which adds new levels of joy to the Year of Stories celebrations.

Focusing on the Romans in Scotland, the book festival has partnered with the new Trimontium Museum in Melrose. Bringing stories of local tales and legends, events include Dr Fraser Hunter with Scotland’s Early Silver, and the Trimontium Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 18, with Roman-themed activities including a ballista workshop and mosaic making, the likes of which may have been seen at the Trimontium site nearby.

Stories are sprinkled throughout the programme, including Edinburgh-based writer Jenny Colgan with the Scottish launch of her latest feel-good novel, An Island Wedding, the final instalment of the beloved Mure series and part of the strand of events looking at stories of Scotland’s people and places.

The Borders Book Festival programme is packed with more events celebrating the Year of Stories 2022, including new stories from the likes of award-winning journalist Chitra Ramaswamy whose moving story of her friendship with a Holocaust survivor is told in Homelands; and Ben West, who addresses through his own personal story of loss the crucial issue of mental health.