A look ahead to the Manchester Literature Festival - October 7th-20th

LVE OCT13 literature

LVE OCT13 literature - Credit: Dominic Turner

Nordic crime writer Jo Nesbo has already kicked off the Manchester Literary festival in a special trailblazer event but there’s lots to look forward to in a programme packed with everything from Bridget Jones’s big knickers to Jane Austen’s bonnets and betrothals.

Writers taking part include Val Mc Dermid, Neil Gaiman, CK Stead, Deborah Levy, Sarah Dunant and Cath Stainciffe.

At The Children’s Bookshow (October 7th 10.30am), award-winning writer Jackie Kay will be reading from her wonderfully evocative collection of poems Red Cherry Red, which includes the magical poem The World of Trees inspired by the Forest of Burnley.

Helen Fielding comic novelist, screen writer and creator of the infamous Bridget Jones talks about her feverishly anticipated new Bridget Jones novel (October 13th, 3pm). During the afternoon Fielding will reveal what the Chardonnay swilling anti-heroine has been up to since she was last seen on the big screen.

Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle (October 13th 5.30pm), discusses his new novel The Guts, where one of contemporary fiction’s favourite characters, Jimmy Rabbitte, aka the man who invented those saviours of soul The Commitments and hero of the Barrytown Trilogy, returns. Doyle is the author of nine acclaimed novels including Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and The Woman Who Walked into Doors.

Joanna Trollope is one of six contemporary authors re-writing Jane Austen’s work for The Austen Project. She is joined by Radio Four’s Jenni Murray to examine a sparkling retelling of Sense & Sensibility (October 20th, 5.00pm). In her latest work Trollope casts her clever satirical eye over the tale of two sisters. What might appear to the modern eye to be all romance, bonnets and betrothals, becomes a wonderfully witty coming-of-age story about what really makes the world go around, and how, when it comes to money, some things never change…

Lemn Sissay and Manchester Camerata join forces in the resplendent Manchester Town Hall, Great Hall for I Have A Dream (October 9th, 7.30pm). This special commission from MLF and Manchester Camerata marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, which was delivered in August 1963 to over 250,000 civil rights supporters, calling for an end to racism in the United States. Responding to this era-defining speech, Lemn Sissay has been commissioned to create a poetic vision for our times. Following the piece, principal players from the Camerata will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet op.130.

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Festival highlight

Presented in partnership with MMU/ Manchester Children’s Book Festival, Z-Arts hosts an afternoon with Malorie Blackman (October 11th, 1.00 pm), one of the UK’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. Malorie will lead a lively discussion about the inspiration behind her hugely popular novels, including Noughts and Crosses, Boys Don’t Cry and Noble Conflict.