Former LibDem leader to open UEA’s autumn literary festival

UEA's Autumn Literary Festival kicks off next week and will feature Paddy Ashdown, Rose Tremain and

UEA's Autumn Literary Festival kicks off next week and will feature Paddy Ashdown, Rose Tremain and Dave Lodge (L-R) - Credit: Archant

The University of East Anglia's Autumn Literary Festival kicks off next week, with everyone from former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown to award-winning author David Lodge taking part this year.

The event will open on Wednesday with festival director Professor Chris Bigsby in conversation with Mr Lodge, a Whitbread Book of the Year Award winner whose novels include Changing Places and How Far Can You Go?

The festival will then run until November 23, with Prof Bigsby talking to a total of eight guests from the literary world.

'The pleasure of the festival is that we will be hearing a wide variety of voices from prize-winning writers who work in a wide variety of forms, including the novel, biography, history, the essay and theatre,' said Prof Bigsby.

Antony Beevor, who received the Pritzker Military Museum and Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing in 2014, will talk about his life and work on October 12.

You may also want to watch:

Meanwhile on October 19, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, also a former Royal Marine and Special Boat Service officer and now an author, will take to the festival stage.

Actor Bernard Hill, well known for playing King Theoden in The Lord of the Rings film adaptations, will speak about his film and stage career on October 26.

Most Read

Booker Prize winner and adult and children's author Penelope Lively will be featured on November 2, author and peace activist David Grossman on November 8, and author and former UEA professor Richard Holmes on November 16.

The festival concludes on November 23 with novelist and former UEA chancellor Rose Tremain.

Season tickets for the festival cost £56 (concessions £48). Tickets for individual events cost £8 (£4 for students).

For more information, visit or email

• Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter