4 literary festivals to visit this Autumn

CHE Oct16 Henry normal and Literary festivals

CHE Oct16 Henry normal and Literary festivals - Credit: Archant

Culture vultures will be flocking to the region this month for a feast of bookish festivals, ranging from the Knutsford Literature Festival set against the backdrop of the town which inspired novelist Elizabeth Gaskell to Louder than Words, which mixes edgy writing with music.

Knutsford Literature Festival

When? October 7th-16th

What? A boutique book festival held against the backdrop of atmospheric Knutsford

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The festival was launched as a millennium project and is now in its 17th year attracting top literary names.

This year’s programme of events range from an appearance by the TV newsreader John Suchet whose book The Last Waltz tells the intriguing story of two generations of the Strauss family in Vienna, to Adam Sisman author of the first authorised biography of Night Manager writer John Le Carré and Frances Wilson – Guilty Thing :A Life Of Thomas De Quincey. The latter explores the life of literature’s most famous drug-addict, a man of complexity and originality, and explores his obsession with Wordsworth, Coleridge and the idea of murder as a fine art.

Contact: knutsfordlitfest.org

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Manchester Literature Festival

When? October 7th-23rd

What? A major literary event that brings together established big guns, new writers and literary ‘experiences.’ Afternoon tea with Jenni Murray anyone?

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Among the stellar line-up for this year are international fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood, Olivier Award-winning actor Alan Cumming, songwriter and guitarist Johnny Marr and politician Alan Johnson. Leading science writer Yuval Noah Harari discusses artificial intelligence and 21st century inequality.

Other literary stars who will be appearing include Anne Enright, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jackie Kay, Lemn Sissay, Ben Okri, Margaret Atwood, Lionel Shriver, Anne Enright and Tracy Chevalier.


Chester Literature festival

When? October 8th-21st

What? This year’s Chester Literature Festival sets the scene for the city’s new Storyhouse building with rising stars of the literary world appearing alongside some of the best writers from across the country. The festival is adding to the buzz around this new inspirational library that opens in Chester next spring.

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There’s something of a history and politics theme this year with Westminster diarist Chris Mullin talking about life outside Parliament and journalist Martin Williams unearthing the shadier side of our representatives. He discusses his book Parliament Ltd. Ex-MP Matthew Parris looks at the history of insults in his book Scorn.

Edward Ross presents a history of cult cinema, using his latest graphic book Filmish which will be supplemented by film excerpts. Booker prize winner James Kelman, who simultaneously wrote a screenplay of his latest novel, Dirt Road, will talk about storytelling via the page and the screen with clips from the yet to be released film.

There’s also a music theme on October 10th, a day dedicated to David Bowie. His friend Lesley Ann Jones will tell the personal story of her time living with him and commentator and journalist Paul Morley will analyse the impact of Bowie’s art in The Age of Bowie.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Cheshire born adventurer Alex Staniforth and novelists Victoria Hislop, Jessie Burton and Margaret Drabble also feature in this exciting line-up. www.storyhouse.com

Louder than Words

When? November 11th-13th

What? Cutting edge festival celebrating the relationship between music and writing at Manchester’s Palace Hotel.

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Join authors, poets, lyricists, journalists, bloggers and musicians for a festival that goes beyond the mainstream. From sessions with guests such as Kraftwerk’s Wulfgang Flur and Throwing Muses’ Kristen Hersh to Brix Smith Start and Barney Hoskyns, this is a literary festival celebrating oral, written and published words, associated with the music industry.