Diverse line-up for UEA literary festival

Booker prizewinner and filmmaker Michael Ondaatje will join crime writer P D James and playwright Stephen Poliakoff in a diverse, international line-up visiting Norwich for the UEA literary festival.

Booker prizewinner and filmmaker Michael Ondaatje will join crime writer PD James and playwright Stephen Poliakoff in a diverse, international line-up visiting Norwich for the UEA literary festival.

Leading Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi, Doris Lessing and former deputy leader of the Labour Party Roy Hattersley also feature in this autumn's festival, which kicks-off on October 1 with Michael Ondaatje, best known for The English Patient, winner of the Booker Prize and his third Governor General Award.

Prof Chris Bigsby, head of the UEA's School of American Studies and festival organiser, said: "We're delighted to be able to offer such a range of distinguished writers, with writers coming from Canada, Egypt and the UK, and ranging from novelists and poets to playwrights

and biographers; there should be something here for everybody in one of the best programmes in recent years."


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Nawal El Saadawi, whose works include God Dies by the Nile and The Hidden Face of Eve, appears on October 16. She served as Egypt's director of public health before being dismissed from the post after publishing a book about women and sexuality. She was also imprisoned under Sadat and three years ago she offered herself as a candidate for the presidential elections in Egypt.

Doris Lessing, who was born in Persia (now Iran) and now lives in England and is best-known for

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The Golden Notebook, appears on October 24. Her many novels, widely translated, have established her as one of the country's leading writers.

Mystery writer PD James, who has published 19 novels, many of which have been adapted for television, including The Children of Men, which inspired the 2006 film, appears on October 31.

Playwright, novelist and translator Michael Frayn will be at the university on November 14, along with Claire Tomalin, whose biographies include The Invisible Woman, her study of the relationship between Charles Dickens and the actress Nelly Ternan. She worked in publishing before turning to journalism, becoming literary editor of the New Statesman and the Sunday Times.

Former MP Roy Hattersley, whose latest work is a study of Britain between the wars, appears on November 21, and playwright Stephen Poliakoff, whose television works include Stronger than the Sun,

Friends and Crocodiles and Gideon's Daughter, appears on November 28.

Biographer Michael Holroyd, recently knighted for his services to literature, and who has written biographies about writer Hugh Kingsmill and works on Augustus John and Bernard Shaw, appears on December 5.

All the events begin at 7pm in Lecture Theatre One at the UEA.

Season tickets at £35 (£30 concessions) and individual tickets at £5 (no concessions) are available from the UEA box office on 01603 508050.

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