fbpx

Gavin Plumley – Three Choirs Festival

Art, music and literature are woven together through the story of a timber framed house in the Herefordshire countryside. Cultural historian Gavin Plumley discusses folk music, Vaughan Williams, and the history of his home throughout the centuries, drawing on his new book A Home for all Seasons.

Sam Blake – Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Whodunnit? That’s the question on everyone’s lips at the author dinner – along with good food, wine and conversation.

Your table will be hosted by a leading crime writer who will lend their insight, experience and skill – or failing that, their best guess – to identify the perpetrator of the dastardly crime in the murder mystery that will be acted out for your delight, delectation and diversion.

Knives, forks and sharp wits at the ready, let’s eat.

Crack the case as authors Alan Johnson, Antti Tuomainen, Craig Robertson, Charlotte Northedge, Fiona Erskine, Melanie Blake, Kate Rhodes, Lilja Sigurðardóttir, Matt Wesolowski, Patricia Gibney, Sam Blake, Susi Holliday, Tim Glister, Will Carver and Zoe Sharp apply their criminal minds, alongside their napkins.

Catherine Ryan Howard – Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Meet four crime and thriller writers who share an enviable ability to maintain a rattling pace throughout their novels, grabbing readers by the throat on page one and refusing to let them go until the shattering conclusion.

The inimitable Frankie Boyle has swapped comedy for crime to great effect with his exhilarating debut Meantime set in his native Glasgow; multi-million seller Lisa Jewell always delivers and her latest, the enthralling The Family Remains, shows her at her dazzling best; Catherine Ryan Howard is collecting awards and readers at a rate of knots thanks to five gripping high-concept thrillers. Saima Mir’s stunning debut, the powerful and pacy The Khan, has firmly established her as an author on the rise. The panel is chaired by leading thriller writer Luca Veste.

Alastair Santhouse – Ways With Words Dartington

Stories of Mind and Body

What does it mean to be well? Is it something in our body? Or, is it rather something subjective – something of the mind? In his collection of clinical stories, psychiatrist Dr Alastair Santhouse draws on his experience of treating thousands of hospital patients to show how our emotions are inextricably linked to our physical wellbeing.

Steve Richards – Ways With Words Dartington

Falling at the Final Hurdle

Political columnist Steve Richards sheds new light on some of our most compelling and divisive political figures. He examines the fortunes and misfortunes of eleven would-be prime ministers, including Denis Healey, Michael Heseltine and the Miliband brothers. With piercing insight and historical analysis, he unpicks the demands of leadership, exploring failure and success in politics.

Camilla Grudova – Blackwell’s Oxford

Don’t miss 3 rising stars in literary fiction: Camilla Grudova, Missouri Williams and Lauren John Joseph.

Children of Paradise – Camilla Grudova

When Holly applies for a job at the Paradise – one of the city’s oldest cinemas, squashed into the ground floor of a block of flats – she thinks it will be like any other shift work. She cleans toilets, sweeps popcorn, avoids the belligerent old owner, Iris, and is ignored by her aloof but tight-knit colleagues who seem as much a part of the building as its fraying carpets and endless dirt. Dreadful, lonely weeks pass while she longs for their approval, a silent voyeur. So when she finally gains the trust of this cryptic band of oddballs, Holly transforms from silent drudge to rebellious insider and gradually she too becomes part of the Paradise – unearthing its secrets, learning its history and haunting its corridors after hours with the other ushers. It is no surprise when violence strikes, tempers change and the group, eyes still affixed to the screen, starts to rapidly go awry…

The Doloriad – Missouri Williams

In the wake of an environmental cataclysm, the Matriarch and her family cling to existence. The Matriarch, ruling with fear and force, dreams of starting humanity over. Surrounded by the silent forest and the dead suburbs, they scavenge supplies and attempt to cultivate the poisoned earth, brutalizing and caring for one another in equal measure. For entertainment, they watch old VHS tapes of a TV show called Get Aquinas in Here, in which a problem-solving medieval saint faces down a sequence of logical and ethical dilemmas. One day the Matriarch dreams of another group of survivors, and sends away one of her daughters, the legless Dolores, as a marriage offering. Dolores returns and triggers the breakdown of Matriarch’s fragile order. As the children seize their chance to escape, the world of the television saint Aquinas and that of the family begin to melt together with terrible consequences. Told in extraordinary, intricate prose that moves with a life of its own, Missouri Williams’s debut novel is a blazingly original document of depravity and salvation. Gothic and strange, moving and disquieting, and often hilarious, The Doloriad stares down, with narrowed eyes, humanity’s unbreakable commitment to life.

At Certain Points we Touch – Lauren John Joseph

It’s four in the morning, and our narrator is walking home from the club when they realise that it’s February 29th – the birthday of the man who was something like their first love. Piecing together art, letters and memory, they set about trying to write the story of a doomed affair that first sparked and burned a decade ago. Ten years earlier, and our young narrator and a boy named Thomas James fall into bed with one another over the summer of their graduation. Their ensuing affair, with its violent, animal intensity and its intoxicating and toxic power play will initiate a dance of repulsion and attraction that will cross years, span continents, drag in countless victims – and culminate in terrible betrayal. At Certain Points We Touch is a story of first love and last rites, conjured against a vivid backdrop of London, San Francisco and New York – a riotous, razor-sharp coming-of-age story that marks the arrival of an extraordinary new talent.

Camilla Grudova – Blackwell’s Manchester

CHILDREN OF PARADISE – Camilla Grudova in conversation with Naomi Frisby

The Manchester launch of Camilla Grudova’s CHILDREN OF PARADISE – a surreal, discomforting debut novel charting the fates of a ragtag group of cinema workers who are spat out by corporate takeover. Camilla will be in conversation with host Naomi Frisby.

About the book

When Holly applies for a job at the Paradise – one of the city’s oldest cinemas, squashed into the ground floor of a block of flats – she thinks it will be like any other shift work. She cleans toilets, sweeps popcorn, avoids the belligerent old owner, Iris, and is ignored by her aloof but tight-knit colleagues who seem as much a part of the building as its fraying carpets and endless dirt. Dreadful, lonely weeks pass while she longs for their approval, a silent voyeur. So when she finally gains the trust of this cryptic band of oddballs, Holly transforms from silent drudge to rebellious insider and gradually she too becomes part of the Paradise – unearthing its secrets, learning its history and haunting its corridors after hours with the other ushers. It is no surprise when violence strikes, tempers change and the group, eyes still affixed to the screen, starts to rapidly go awry…

About the author

Camilla Grudova lives in Edinburgh where she works as an usherette. She holds a degree in Art History and German from McGill University, Montreal. Her fiction has appeared in The White Review and Granta. Her critically acclaimed debut collection, The Doll’s Alphabet, was published in 2017 by Fitzcarraldo Editions.. This is her first novel.

Danny Denton – West Cork Literary Festival

Niamh Campbell & Danny Denton

In this afternoon event Niamh Campbell and Danny Denton discuss their second novels, ‘We Were Young’ and ‘All Along The Echo’.

Susie Alegre – Middle Temple

Join us for another Author’s Reading. Our guest will be human rights barrister, author and speaker Susie Alegre.

She will be reading from her book ‘Freedom to Think: The Long Struggle to Liberate Our Minds.’

The book explores the history and present-day issues of how our mental freedom is under threat and argues that ‘only by recasting our human rights for the digital age can we safeguard our future.

The first part of the session will be a reading by Susie. The reading will be followed by a discussion during which attendees have the opportunity to discuss the key themes of the book with the barrister-author and ask about her work experience.

Rebecca Mead – Ways With Words Dartington

Rebecca Mead – A Memoir of Departure and Return

In the summer of 2018, New Yorker writer, Rebecca Mead, returned to the place she was born: London. Fleeing both the political situation in America and seeking to expose her son to a wider world, the move raised poignant questions about place. What does it mean to leave the place you have adopted as home and country? And what is the value and cost of uprooting yourself?