June 13, 2008 / 1:12 AM / 9 years ago

Sean Connery to unveil autobiography at festival

<p>Actor Sean Connery waves at the end of a ceremony during which he received the Il Campidoglio award at Rome's Capitol Hill October 14, 2006. Connery is set to shake and stir this year's Edinburgh Book Festival by unveiling an autobiography on his 78th birthday. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli</p>

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Sean Connery is set to shake and stir this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival by unveiling an autobiography on his 78th birthday.

The Scottish actor who defined the role of British secret agent James Bond and his literary collaborator, film maker Murray Grigor, discuss the book at the festival on August 25, organizers said on Thursday.

Connery, a passionate Scottish nationalist who has sworn not to live in his home country until it is independent, has titled his memoirs “Being a Scot.”

As the book festival celebrates its 25th anniversary, director Catherine Lockerbie told Reuters she had been keeping an eye on Connery’s autobiography through its various incarnations.

Edinburgh-born, Connery once delivered milk in the city and posed as a model at the College of Art before hitting the big time.

“His book obviously had to be launched with us,” Lockerbie said.

BIGGEST IN THE WORLD

The literary feast, with a record 800 authors participating in 750 events from August 9-25, runs alongside the international arts festival, the anarchic fringe and a series of exhibitions in the biggest annual celebration of its kind in the world.

Connery’s appearance also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming, creator of British superspy James Bond, otherwise known as agent 007.

Author and comedian Charlie Higson will launch the fifth and final episode of his successful Young Bond series, while the authorized biography of Fleming, “For Your Eyes Only,” will feature at the festival.

Lockerbie has sought to attract authors from around the world.

Focus on China brings writers from the world’s most populous nation, while themes on the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel and fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq are covered in the festival’s “East and West” and “War and Terror” series.

Lockerbie said the international aspect was key to the festival.

”I have been steadily working to increase the number of nations and cultures represented ... I think there’s a strange disjunction between a globalize, homogenized, shrinking world, in one respect, and the fact that we still don’t understand other cultures, points of view.

“And it seems to me that with the arts in general, and literature in particular, is a key vehicle for understanding, and that’s been a mission of mine.”

Tickets can be booked online at www.edbookfest.co.uk.

Editing by Mike Collett-White and Paul Casciato

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