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Nick Barley: Judge me on Edinburgh book festival, not my past

21st June 2010

The new director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival has called on his critics to judge him by the results of the event, not his past work.

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, Nick Barley admitted that his appointment as the festival's head in October last year has attracted criticism from those who think he is not suitable for the role.

The 43-year-old was the director of Lighthouse, the Scottish centre for architecture and design, before it went into administration - which Barley said he felt 'full responsibility' for.

However, he has urged his critics to refrain from judging him until they have seen the fruits of his labour when the Edinburgh International Book Festival is held between August 14th and 30th.

'The programme will do the talking. I'm interested in producing a programme that people can judge for themselves. The reaction from the authors so far is that it is a programme they want to be part of,' he told the newspaper.

Writers who are currently signed up to participate in the festival include Simon Armitage, Philip Ardagh, Melvyn Bragg, Hilary Mantel, Alexander McCall Smith and Will Self.

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