Bonkers about books?

Lo­cal lit­er­ary fes­ti­vals

Cheshire Life - - Inside - WORDS: Alisha Davis

In a world where so­cial me­dia is in­creas­ingly a ma­jor fo­cus, the sim­ple plea­sure of read­ing books and dis­cussing them with oth­ers can seem rather lost. These lo­cal lit­er­a­ture fes­ti­vals, how­ever, are mak­ing sure we will re­main in love with the writ­ten word…

KNUTSFORD LIT­ER­A­TURE FES­TI­VAL

When: Oc­to­ber 10th- 14th

With Knutsford Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val reach­ing the grand age of 19, this year brings a slew of ex­cit­ing speak­ers. With the cen­te­nary an­niver­sary of the Suf­fragette move­ment, al­ready pro­vok­ing dis­cus­sions and events through­out the year, it will of course be a strong theme at the fes­ti­val.

Ex­pect ex­tra­or­di­nary authors such as Tessa Boase who will dis­cuss her novel ‘Mrs Pankhurst’s Pur­ple Feather’, de­scribed as ground-break­ing. It brings to light cru­elty to an­i­mals and also high­lights the power of Ed­war­dian fash­ion. With a step back in time, you can rem­i­nisce about lo­cal ar­eas such as Dids­bury where many of the first Royal So­ci­ety for the Pro­tec­tion of Birds meet­ings were held.

An­other ex­cit­ing fea­ture will be the tale of Agatha Christie and her sleuthing, by An­drew Wil­son. (Christie was no stranger to Cheshire - she vis­ited the Chea­dle area of­ten.) It’s a grip­ping story, which in­cludes mys­tery, death, and of­fers a look at the vul­ner­a­ble side to Christie’s life. It should keep read­ers hooked.

From fic­tion, we turn to the his­toric nar­ra­tive of the Ro­manovs, Rus­sia’s im­pe­rial fam­ily who per­ished in 1918.

Here He­len Rap­pa­port un­cov­ers con­spir­a­cies, be­tray­als and fam­ily ri­val­ries. Turn­ing to Bri­tain’s his­tory, Clat­ter­bridge-born writer Julie Sum­mers dis­cusses the up­heaval many en­dured when hun­dreds of coun­try houses were req­ui­si­tioned to pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion for armed forces. With the jux­ta­po­si­tion of op­u­lence and or­di­nary peo­ple, Julie, au­thor of Jam­busters, cap­tures an im­por­tant time in the so­cial his­tory of Bri­tain.

Labour politi­cian and for­mer Home Sec­re­tary Alan John­son will dis­cuss his me­moir and how mu­sic has been an in­te­gral part of his life. His words will take you into a world of Dansettes and juke­boxes, an ex­cit­ing trip back in time.

Knutsford Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val is on at var­i­ous venues around the town. Early book­ing is ad­vised. For full de­tails and tick­ets visit: http:// knutsfordl­it­fest.org/

MANCH­ESTER LIT­ER­A­TURE FES­TI­VAL

When: Oc­to­ber 6th- 21st

En­ter­ing its 13th year, the Manch­ester Lit­er­a­ture fes­ti­val has ex­panded to in­clude 75 events across var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in the city. To mark the cen­te­nary year of women’s suf­frage in the UK, the fes­ti­val takes pride in cel­e­brat­ing pioneer­ing women. This year’s fes­ti­val cel­e­brates women’s words, ex­pe­ri­ences and their sto­ries rang­ing from a re-imag­ined per­spec­tive of the Tro­jan War, to a young woman be­ing re­cruited by the se­cret ser­vice, to mod­ern women dis­cussing men­tal health and an ex­am­i­na­tion of liv­ing as an eth­nic mi­nor­ity.

Booker Prize-win­ning au­thor Pat Barker reimag­ines one of the most fa­mous con­flicts, The Tro­jan War, from the per­spec­tive of a woman and the jour­ney she em­barks on, as she strug­gles to be­come the au­thor of her own story.

“For­mer Home Sec­re­tary Alan John­son will dis­cuss his me­moir” ‘This year’s fes­ti­val cel­e­brates women’s words, ex­pe­ri­ences and their sto­ries’

From one war to an­other, we fol­low Kate Atkin­son’s lead pro­tag­o­nist as she is pulled into the world of es­pi­onage and the ac­tions of her past col­lide with her present self; a pow­er­ful novel full of wit and em­pa­thy to dis­cuss over af­ter­noon tea in the his­toric Mid­land ho­tel.

Touch­ing on non-fic­tion works, Woman’s Hour pre­sen­ter Dame Jenni Mur­ray will share her book on His­tory of the World in 21 Women; co­me­dian Su­san Cal­man will talk about em­brac­ing kind­ness and joy. Jo Brand will dis­cuss her thoughts on fem­i­nism and power in her new book, Born Lippy: How to do fe­male.

Manch­ester Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val has com­mis­sioned new voices for this year. The events, across a wide range of venues, high­light the city’s im­pres­sive cul­tural his­tory as well as the spo­ken word. Lo­ca­tions in­clude sites of ar­chi­tec­tural splen­dour like Manch­ester Cen­tral Li­brary, The Whit­worth Art Gallery and Dance­house.

LIVER­POOL LIT­ER­ARY FES­TI­VAL

When: Oc­to­ber 19th-21st

Ex­pect a week­end full of de­bates, read­ings and dis­cus­sions in some of Liver­pool’s most beau­ti­ful venues that show­case the dy­namic cul­ture of this vi­brant and cos­mopoli­tan city.

You can en­joy work­shop events such as ‘How to be your own Archers scriptwriter’ with Mary Cut­ler where in­di­vid­u­als can cre­ate mini sto­ry­lines, and ‘how to hook your lis­tener’ with Sara Davies who will be teach­ing the ba­sic el­e­ments of ra­dio drama.

Em­brac­ing the new voices of lit­er­a­ture, Liver­pool is giv­ing

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