Crime, politics, war – all at UEA

LORNA MARSH The University of East Anglia is looking forward to another outstanding line-up at its International Literary Festival this year, led by a rare appearance by Nobel Prize winner VS Naipaul.

LORNA MARSH

The University of East Anglia is looking forward to another outstanding line-up at its International Literary Festival this year, led by a rare appearance by Nobel Prize winner VS Naipaul.

Celebrated writers also appearing include Kate Adie, Sheila Hancock and a family hat-trick from Richard Hoggart and his journalist sons, Simon and Paul.

And Ian Rankin, the popular author of the Inspector Rebus series that began in 1987 with Knots and Crosses and has continued on an annual basis, will be appearing on September 27.

He has also served as the chairman of the Crime Writers' Association and is a winner of its Gold Dagger award.

The festival runs until the end of November with a varied programme, featuring war, politics, biography, award-winning literature and popular fiction.

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VS Naipaul, who in 2001 became the first British winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature since Sir William Golding two decades ago, kicks the season off on September 22.

He is also a winner of the Booker prize and has written more than 20 books in the last 45 years, including the Enigma of Arrival, a Way in the World and Half a Life.

On October 4, one of Britain's best-loved actresses, Sheila Hancock, will be reading from her book about her late husband, The Two of Us – My Life with John Thaw.

Veteran war correspondent Kate Adie is also the author of The Kindness of Strangers and Corsets to Camouflage: Women and War and will be appearing on November 8.

Journalists Simon and Paul Hoggart will be taking the stage with their social commentator and writer father, Richard, on November 26.

Whitbread award winner Professor David Lodge is visiting on November 15; Andre Brink, the South African-born author of A Dry White Season, appears on October 13; and writer and University of Florida professor David Leavitt visits on October 18.

The festival culminates on November 29 with crime novelist Alexander McCall Smith, a professor of medical law and vice-chairman of the Human Genetics Commission in the UK as well as author of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

Chris Bigsby, of the UEA's School of English and American Studies, said he was proud of the tradition of diversity the festival held and that this year was no exception.

Prof Bigsby said season tickets had been selling out in record numbers over the last few years following its increasingly international reputation.

“I don't think any other university in Britain or America could offer a line-up like this.

“The great thing is that people come along to see a particular author and they end up seeing others they might not have even heard of. And the feeling of discovering a writer you admire is like nothing else.”

All events begin at 7pm and take place in Lecture Theatre 1 at the UEA.

Season tickets, priced at £35 (£21 for students and concessions), and individual tickets, at £5 (£3 students and concessions), are available in advance from the UEA Box Office on 01603 508050.

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