Manchester Literature Festival preview: MM’s highlights from 16 days of bookish delights

Now in its 12th year, the Manchester Literature Festival descends upon the city next month bringing with it over a hundred writers for 16 days of bookish delights.

Hosting talks, debates, readings, performances and pub crawls, the MLF features a plethora of emerging talent and literary veterans from all over the globe.

Manchester is a city of stories and storytellers.  This October the city welcomes writers, thinkers and activists to share their work and address the issues of the day: questioning and re-imagining our relationships with each other and the world around us.

There really is something for everyone at this year’s festival: from award-winning Mancunian writer Howard Jacobson and human rights activist Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, to rapping fun with Rastamouse, rising stars from the World Literature programme, and bellyaches with Sarah Millican and Nigella Lawson, to name just a few.

Looking ahead to Manchester Literature Festival 2017, MM picks its top tips from the events happening all over the city…

The Original Punk Poet Pub Tour: October 7, 12pm – 3pm

Put on your skinny suit and sunglasses, backcomb your hair and head to the pub for some poetry. This literary piss-up celebrates Salford’s stylish bard, John Cooper Clarke.

The tour starts at the Black Lion pub, Salford, and ends at HOME Manchester.

Roddy Doyle: October 8, Central Library 7pm

The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Commitments will be in conversation with Alex Clark to discuss his books, films and forthcoming novel, Smile.

Sinéad Morrissey & Douglas Dunn: October 9, Martin Harris Centre 7.30pm

Two of the UK’s finest contemporary poets read and discuss their award-winning poetry at the Centre for New Writing, hosted by Vona Groarke.

Will Self: October 10, Central Library 6.30pm

The cult author returns to Manchester to talk about his new novel, Phone, a wildly witty send-up of contemporary British life.  An acerbic, merciless commentator, Self is a prolific and celebrated author, journalist and broadcaster.

Alan Hollinghurst: October 11, Central Library 7pm

Author of a delicious satire about Thatcherism, The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst beautifully chronicles British history through the eyes of his gay characters. He talks about his new novel, The Sparsholt Affair, which follows two men from the Second World War though to the modern day.

Harriet Harman, A Woman’s Work: October 12, Central Library 6.30pm

The veteran Labour MP recently called Jacob Rees-Mogg a “deadbeat dad” after he revealed he has never changed his childrens’ nappies. Here she discusses her new memoir, A Woman’s Work, which tells of her 30 years in politics as a champion of women’s rights.

Simon Schama, Belonging: The Story of the Jews 1492-1900: October 16, RNCM 7.30pm

An exceptionally charismatic historian and broadcaster, Simon Schama is a star of British culture. He talks about the second volume of his epic history of the Jewish people, The Story of the Jews.

Jon Savage, Burgess, Punk and the Sex Pistols: October 17, International Antony Burgess Foundation 7pm

In Antony Burgess’ centenary year, Jon Savage delivers this specially commissioned talk reflecting on Burgess, youth culture, the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ seminal album Never Mind the Bollocks, and the continuing relevance of punk.  Jon Savage is a writer, broadcaster and music journalist, best known for his award-winning history of The Sex Pistols.

Howard Jacobson: October 18, Central Library 7pm

The award-winning Howard Jacobson is in conversation with MLF patron Rachel Cooke to discuss his new novel, Pussy, the art of satire, and writing as a form of resistance in the current political climate.

Michael Rosen, So They Call You Pisher? October 19, Waterstones Deansgate 6pm

Former children’s laureate Michael Rosen comes to the MLF to discuss his new memoir, which tells the story of his childhood in London, early communist camping holidays and his first adventures in activism as a young man.  Rosen is the author of over 140 books of poetry, stories and political commentary.

Nigella Lawson in conversation with Jeanette Winterson: October 20, RNCM 7pm

Saucy TV cook and casual cocaine user Nigella Lawson talks about her latest book, Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts, with author Jeanette Winterson.

Jennifer Egan: November 15, Central Library 7pm

American author Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize for her sprawling yet captivating novel, A Visit From The Goon Squad. She makes a visit to the UK to talk about her forthcoming novel, Manhattan Beach, which is set in Brooklyn during the 1930s and 1940s. 

Jackie Kay & Ali Smith: December 5, Martin Harris Centre 7.30pm

In this special joint event, writers and friends Jackie Kay, the Scottish Makar and University of Salford Chancellor, and the Costa Novel Awarding-winning Ali Smith will read their work and discuss the art of creativity.  

To book tickets for any MLF event, phone 0843 208 0500 or visit www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk

Image courtesy of Manchester Literature Festival via Twitter, with thanks.

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