6 of the best events at the 2019 Manchester Literature Festival

Jung Chang (c) Jon Halliday

Jung Chang (c) Jon Halliday - Credit: NOT Archant

As the Manchester Literature Festival returns for its 14th year, Feargal Brennan highlights the dates you don’t want to miss.

David Nicholls in Conversation

Friday October 4th, 7pm, Martha Harris Centre for Music and Drama, £8/£10

Novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls presents his latest book, Sweet Sorrow, which follows the high drama of a teenage romance, all played over one life-changing summer. Alongside discussing his latest Sunday Times bestseller, Nicholls will also be looking back at a career in literature and television and the challenges of intertwining love and relationships with comedy and tragedy.


Neil Tennant in Conversation

Saturday October 5th, 3pm, RNCM Theatre, £28

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Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant will look back at his career in music, the inspirations behind his song-writing, how storytelling has shaped his musical influences and the role of politics and history in his lyrics. Host Andrew McMillan will also look at Neil's collaborative career, including working with David Bowie, Dusty Springfield and Derek Jarman as well as a chat about Neil's debut book One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem.


Cathy Newman : Bloody Brilliant Women

Sunday October 6th, 2pm, Manchester Central Library, £8/£10

Channel 4 News journalist Cathy Newman presents a live discussion on global female empowerment, speaking about her own journey to becoming a leading journalist, the barriers and problems she has encountered and the mechanisms in place to counter stereotypes. She will also look at the changes in the sources of female power, and what the future holds .


Jung Chang

Monday October 14th, 7pm, Manchester Central Library, £8/£10

Chang. acclaimed author of Wild Swans, will be giving a live reading from her powerful biography Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China. A fascinating story of the three very different Soong sisters, who each played a key role in developing the landscape of modern China, and a unique peek behind the curtain at power structures in this vast nation.


An Afternoon with David Baddiel

Sunday October 20th, 1.30pm, RNCM Theatre, £8 (£28 for Family Ticket)

Baddiel has established himself within the growing trend of comic-turned-children's author and, at this expected-to-be-popular event, he introduces his latest book The Taylor Turbochaser, reading excerpts to an audience of parents and children. The event also includes a Q&A session, with Baddiel looking at his passion for children's fiction and the power of storytelling for children.


Deborah Moggach

Thursday October 17th, 7pm, Manchester Central Library, £6/£8

Bestselling author Deborah Moggach (Tulip Fever, The Best Marigold Hotel) discusses her brand new book - The Carer. Moggach's new work earned rave reviews following its release in July 2019, for its poignant and humorous look at the life of an older man, his new carer and his adult children. Deborah considers family, ageing, and the stories we construct to protect ourselves and others.


Other literary events

October 12-16th: KNUTSFORD LITERATURE FESTIVAL. Entering into its ninth - and, recently confirmed, final - year, the KLF sports an impressive line up for an out-of-city festival, which this year includes Rachel Reeves MP talking about her widely lauded book Women of Westminster: The Women Who Changed Politics.

November 11-12th: LIVERPOOL LITERARY FESTIVAL. Back for its third year in the glorious gothic surroundings of the Victoria Gallery & Museum, this weekend festival hosts a number of fascinating voices, including Molly Case, whose account of her life as a cardiac nurse, How To Treat People, received rave reviews on publication earlier this year

November 9th-30th: CHESTER LITERATURE FESTIVAL. The city's Storyhouse plays host to a number of well-known names, including the legendary Michael Morpurgo, on what nearly 50 years of writing has taught him; Roger McGough presenting his latest anthology, joinedupwriting; and 2015 GBBO winner, Nadiya Hussein, talking about her new book, Finding My Voice.