Bonkers about books?
Local literary festivals
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