The Bees are coming: author announced for Marlborough LitFest’s Big Town Read

Written by Tony Millett on .

Laline Paull Laline Paull Marlborough LitFest in partnership with The Reading Agency has chosen author Laline Paull for their 2017 Big Town Read.

The Big Town Read is back for this year's festival by popular demand - giving local book clubs the chance to read the chosen author's book in advance of the LitFest (28 September-1 October) so it can be discussed in a Q&A session with the author.

Laline Paull's debut novel The Bees was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015.  It is set entirely within a beehive telling the life story of Flora 717 – a member of the lowest caste of bee in her orchard hive - where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues.

Flora starts to challenge the social order of the hive and ends up changing her destiny and her world. The Times calls it an “unusual and cunningly imagined thriller… strangely thought-provoking”.

Kay Newman from the LitFest: “I am thrilled that Laline Paull's book The Bees is this year's Big Town Read. It is a really fascinating book – a classic ‘word of mouth’ novel that I know will have wide appeal.”

Free copies of the novel will be available from Marlborough Library during the summer.  In previous years, readers have returned their copies to the Library for others to read after them.

Laline Paull is following in the successful footsteps of previous LitFest Big Town Read authors Sathnam Sanghera, Jackie Kay, Rachel Joyce and Elizabeth Buchan. Laline will appear at the LitFest on Sunday 1 October at 4.30pm in the Town Hall.
The Reading Agency, which is funded by the Arts Council, is the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment.

Its Programme Manager is Genevieve Clarke: "We are delighted to be involved with the Big Town Read again - its fifth year. The Bees is an inspired choice which should generate some great questions for Laline Paull from reading groups".

Confirmed authors for Marlborough LitFest 2017 include: Golding Speaker Will Self, Man Booker Prize shortlister Graeme McCrae Burnet, BBC Security correspondent Frank Gardner, local crime author Jon Stock, and Royal Society of Literature 2017 Ondaatje Prize winner, Francis Spufford.

Now in its eighth year Marlborough LitFest will offer a mix of fiction, non-fiction, new and young emerging authors, poetry and children’s events - as well as an event to mark the bicentenary of Jane Austen.

There is further information about Marlborough LitFest and its sponsors on its website.