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Sean Connery Pens Memoir

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LONDON — Sean Connery will offer the first public glimpse of his memoirs at this year's Edinburgh Book Festival, organizers announced Thursday.

The former James Bond star, a high-profile Scottish nationalist, will launch "Being a Scot" on Aug. 25, his 78th birthday.

The first _ and, many say, the best _ actor to play 007 on the big screen, Connery is a vocal supporter of the pro-independence Scottish National Party. He lives in the Bahamas and has said he will not reside in Scotland until it gains independence from the United Kingdom.

In a six-decade career, the former Edinburgh milkman also starred in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," "The Hunt for Red October" and "The Untouchables," which earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor.

"This book has gone through more permutations than James Bond has had shaken not stirred martinis _ different co-writers, different publishers," festival director Catherine Lockerbie said.

She said the memoir, written with Scottish filmmaker Murray Grigor, would share Connery's views on "many aspects of Scottish culture and life, including sport, architecture and, of course, the gothic tendency in Scots literature."

Lockerbie said other James Bond-themed events would be held at the festival to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the fictional spy's creator, Ian Fleming.

The Edinburgh event is one of Britain's leading literary gatherings, and runs alongside jazz, comedy and performing arts festivals in the Scottish capital each August.

Among the 800 authors appearing at the Aug. 9-25 festival are Salman Rushdie, Louis de Bernieres and Margaret Atwood.