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Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson heads this year’s Marlborough litfest stars

 

Two star performers – Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson and novelist/playwright Michael Frayn – have already been signed up for the third Marlborough Literary Festival, which is due in September.

And there will be more big names to be announced soon, says Mavis Cheek, the author from Aldbourne whose determination created the festival, now going from strength to strength.

This year’s festival takes place on the weekend of 28 to 30 September and, announces a litfest leaflet: “The range of writers, subjects and events continues to be of the highest quality. In 2012 our festival will concentrate on fiction – with a few little interesting asides on the way.”

Howard Jacobson heads the list so far. He won the Man Booker in 2010 for The Finkler Question, the first comic novel to scoop the prize since Kingsley Amis won it in 1986 for The Old Devils.

He has a new novel due out from Bloomsbury in the autumn called Zoo Time, which is set in doomed literary London and stars a downtrodden protagonist with a red-haired, highly strung wife plus a troubling mother-in-law too.

Former journalist Michael Frayn, whose much celebrated play Noises Off is currently running at the Old Vic in London, is one of only a handful of writers who have hit success writing both novels and plays.

He is a remarkable hard worker, who has created no fewer than 10 novels, 14 plays, seven translations, three films, as well as a clutch of TV documentaries and an opera libretto, which have won him international acclaim.

Also signed up for September is Aminatta Forna, born in Glasgow and raised in Sierra Leone and the UK, who is the award-winning author of The Memory of Love, Ancestor Stones and The Devil that Danced on the Water.

Her latest novel The Memory of Love, is a story about friendship, war and obsessive love. It has been selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times and Times.

The Devil that Danced on the Water, a memoir of her dissident father and of Sierra Leone, was runner up for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003, chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers series and serialised on BBC Radio and in The Sunday Times newspaper.

And another name just announced is classic crime writer Nicola Upson, who has also worked as a journalist – she was the New Statesman’s crime reviewer - and in the theatre.

“There are many more to come, plus writing workshops, a poetry café and children’s events,” adds the litfest.

Brewin Dolphin are the festival’s lead sponsor.

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