When Joanne Harris first published Chocolat twenty years ago, she never thought that a novel about a chocolate shop and a small French village would achieve worldwide success and acclaim. A very popular film adaptation and several awards later, Joanne has published the fourth book in the Chocolat series - The Strawberry Thief.
Ian Rankin is coming to Marlborough LitFest: a firm fan of Messrs Rankin & Rebus explains their lasting appeal
I have always been a fan of crime and espionage novels, cutting my teeth on Len Deighton and John Le Carre. So, it is somewhat surprising that I came late to Ian Rankin.
Marlborough archaeologist's new book delves into a million years of our history - where does Marlborough fit in?
One of 2019 LitFest's most local authors will be Marlborough resident, archaeologist, writer and broadcaster Mike Pitts. He will be talking about his new book Digging Up Britain: Ten Discoveries, a Million Years of History (to be published by Thames & Hudson on August 29).
Here's a variation on our competition - different but absolutely valid:
Stopping off at Dyffryn Gardens near Cardiff on the way back from a walking week in Pembrokeshire, I came away with a plant I’d been looking out for and a copy of The Salt Path which I found on the shelves of a second-hand book shop.
It somehow seemed the right sort of book to be reading after walking along short stretches of the Wales Coast Path, but I had to wait my turn as my husband got there first.
Alan Johnson: Very humbling, very moving, and very entertaining. The very best of Marlborough Lit Fest
To sit in front of Alan Johnson at Marlborough Lit Fest in 2018 and hear him so gleefully describe his joy at discovering music was an absolute privilege. The charisma of this man - slum inhabitant, orphan, postman, union rep, MP then Secretary of State - shone from the Town Hall stage as he enthralled us all with his tales of playing his first ever discs to being a band on the run.
Marlborough LitFest is joining the celebrations of the town’s link with Eglantyne Jebb who founded Save the Children one hundred years ago and who taught in St Peter’s School from 1899 to 1890.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO NAPOLEON BONAPARTE! Author to present new view of France's onetime Emperor - & long time British bogeyman - at Marlborough LitFestThursday, 15 August 2019 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte. That's almost 250 years worth of theories and stories about the very famous 'Little Corporal' from Corsica who ruled over much of Europe.
For me the recent discovery of a lost portrait by Diego Velasquez revived memories of the talk given at last year's Marlborough LitFest by Amy Sackville.
Her novel Painter to the King is a fictional account of the artist's life at the Madrid court of Philip IV. Amy Sackville gave a brilliant talk and showed how Velasquez continues to play on her imagination.
Painter to the King is a breath-taking book. It works wonders with words and speech patterns, and it successfully takes you into Diego Velasquez' inspiration and his way of painting - at time almost brush stroke by brush stroke. It certainly confirms the critics' view that Amy Sackville has extraordinary gifts as writer.
This is a reminder to our readers that tickets for the tenth anniversary Marlborough LitFest go on sale later this week - on Thursday, 11 July 2019.
If you were in the LitFest audience of the Memorial Hall last year, you may have caught a glimpse of me. I was hovering in the wings while William Boyd, the great author, told the story of my artistic struggles and tragic demise to a spellbound audience.
I get the applause, but why the laughter?
In the late 80s or very early 90s, it was a warm morning in Avebury that I came across a young man, mug of tea in one hand and sheaf of paper in the other, leaning on the front fence of his parents’ house, learning his lines. He was still in his pyjamas and dressing gown.
I didn’t take a lot of notice. I was new to the area and supposed Avebury people might be a bit odd.
I had been asked to have the author of the 2017 Big Town Read to stay at my B&B, and was delighted to be able to offer her a room.
‘I’d better read her book before she comes’, I thought, and so picked up a copy of The Bees by Laline Paull.
‘Oh, my goodness! This really isn’t my usual choice of genre’ I thought, ‘but I must persevere so that I appear knowledgeable when she stays with me’. So I battled through the first chapter or so wondering how anyone could write a book from the point-of-view of a bee!
More Articles ...
- Marlborough LitFest 2019: announcing Joanne Harris, two Hiscox Debut Authors & the book for the Big Town Read
- Rankin, Duffy and Harris: three big name signings for LitFest 2019 - authors of three enticing books
- An impassioned plea for freedom & justice: Ben Okri to be Marlborough LitFest 2019’s Golding Speaker
- LitFest Reviews - Chapter Six: Jon Stock's writing workshop for the next generation of thriller writers
- Litfest Reviews – Chapter Five: How motorcyclist Lois Pryce found out that “Iran is a nation of extroverts”
- LitFest Review (& news) - Epilogue: Marlborough's favourite winning Booker novel - and LitFest's new chair
- LitFest Reviews - Chapter 4: William Boyd – "I’m a realistic novelist"
- Chapter Three-and-a-half - David Walliams in Marlborough : a ‘totally awesome’ LitFest occasion
- LitFest Reviews - Chapter Three: How Alan Johnson missed out on rock stardom - but his life has been full of music
- LitFest Reviews - Chapter Two: Rose Tremain and Amy Sackville
- LitFest Reviews - Chapter One: Michael Symmons Roberts' poetry reading
- Opening day of Marlborough LitFest: the Big School Read with Tamsyn Murray
- A hundred primary school children open Marlborough LitFest with High Street fairy tales
- Schoolchildren to launch 2018 Marlborough LitFest with pop-up fairy tales in the High Street
- The Man Booker Prize is 50 years old - you can help choose the best ever winner at Marlborough LitFest
- Author William Boyd at the Marlborough LitFest: his reading list gives extra context to his new novel
- Have motorcycle - will travel - & write about it : after her ride around Iran, Lois Pryce comes to Marlborough LitFest
- Vietnam War - here Julian Pettifer tells how it was reported & at Marlborough LitFest how historian Max Hastings records its 'epic tragedy'
- Amy Sackville's novel tells how Velázquez achieved his portraits, became painter to Philip IV & his bizarre court - you can hear her at Marlborough LitFest
- LitFest 2018: Tim Dee on nature writing with a difference: "Gnashing of teeth is important, but poems are too"
- 1918 - the last year of the 'Great War': Marlborough LitFest guest tells its story in the words of those who fought
- They queued for LitFest tickets to make sure of an audience with David Walliams
- Wednesday: Marlborough LitFest tickets go on sale - including David Walliams' TWO sessions
- Marlborough LitFest announces an extra appearance by David Walliams - plus The Oldie comes to town with a literary lunch
- Wow! Stand back grown-ups: David Walliams heads Marlborough LitFest children's programme
- Chris Cleave to be talk of the town: book for Marlborough LitFest’s Big Town Read is announced
- Marlborough LitFest 2018: major contributors William Boyd, Kate Mosse & Katie Hickman are announced
- Marlborough LitFest 2018's programme adds Sir Max Hastings, Alan Johnson and motorcyclist Lois Pryce
- Rose Tremain to open Marlborough LitFest 2018 as its Golding Speaker
- The phenomenal Marlborough LitFest 2017: books, writers, a lively café & happy audiences
- REVIEW: music critic Fiona Maddocks brings a classical Desert Island Discs to LitFest
- Younger - and younger - readers took centre stage at Marlborough LitFest 2017
- REVIEW: Flagging up rising nationalism - capacity LitFest audience hears about flags' enduring power & their politics
- REVIEW: John O'Farrell gives his LitFest audience a side-splitting take on politics - with some deft lefts and rights to its ample chin
- REVIEW: LitFest's Golding Speaker Will Self enthrals, delights & astonishes - but leaves some a bit baffled or even unsettled
- LitFest: William Golding's daughter talks about his 'Marlborough book' - The Pyramid - in its fiftieth anniversary year
- REVIEW: LitFest audience entranced by opening night's poetry & dance performance by Kayo Chingonyi & Sean Graham
- LitFest 2017 launches to a packed Town Hall
- Sensational Flash Mob Dance Launches Marlborough’s 2017 Litfest
- LitFest 2017: when Marlborough hosts a great and varied host of writers
- LITFEST 2017: meet novelist Gwendoline Riley & her latest narrator Neve whose marriage comes with a little black humour
- Marlborough LitFest exclusive: Novelist David Mitchell brings three new short stories for the Town Hall audience
- Marlborough LitFest 2017 will open with a ground breaking performance of poetry & dance
- LitFest 2017: Found in translation - two translators are summoned to a literary duel
- LitFest 2017: Kit Wharton's memoirs of a paramedic will make you laugh till it hurts - and then probably cry
- Countdown to LitFest '17 - tickets now on sale
- Oh Horrid Henry! Children's author Francesca Simon joins LitFest's 2017 line-up
- The Bees are coming: author announced for Marlborough LitFest’s Big Town Read
- Marlborough LitFest branches out with a June day celebrating summer & nature writing
- Marlborough LitFest: BBC’s Frank Gardner & a celebration of William Golding's 'Marlborough novel' amongst 2017 line-up