Thursday 19 September 2013

Melvyn Bragg, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Melvyn Bragg
Grace and Mary
4pm | 19 Sept 2013 | St Peter's | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Christopher Briscoe

Melvyn Bragg is a critically acclaimed author and broadcaster. He hosted The South Bank Show for many years and currently presents In Our Time on Radio 4. A prolific writer, his non-fiction books include Speak for England, On Giants’ Shoulders and The Book of Books about the King James Bible.

Melvyn published his debut novel, For Want of A Nail, in 1965 and has since written many others including The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier’s Return, Without A City Wall, Crossing The Lines and Remember Me.

His latest novel, Grace and Mary, is a profoundly moving story that spans three generations. John’s mother, Mary, is in her nineties and living in a nursing home by the sea. Her memory is beginning to fade and John uses old photographs and music to take her back to the time when she was a young woman. He discovers that Mary longs most of all for Grace, the mother she barely knew. Ultimately, Grace and Mary is a touching and reflective elegy on love, loss, courage and family.

P.D. James, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

P D James
Death Comes To Pemberley
7pm | 19 Sept 2013 | St Peter's | Tickets: £7.50

In Conversation with Rachel Cooke

One of the nation’s best loved crime writers, Baroness P.D. James was born in Oxford in 1920 and educated at Cambridge High School for Girls. She published her first novel, Cover Her Face, in 1962 and has since written dozens of books including A Mind to Murder, An Unsuitable Job for A Woman, Innocent Blood, A Certain Justice, The Private Patient and Talking About Detective Fiction. She published her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest, in 2000 and has been the recipient of many literary prizes and honours. She was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991 and currently lives in London and Oxford.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen, P.D. James latest novel, Death Comes to Pemberley, masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story.

We are delighted that P.D. James has agreed to come to Budleigh to do a rare In Conversation where she will be discussing her long and fruitful career as a writer, her many books, her thoughts on crime fiction and of course, her passion for stories and Jane Austen.

Rachel Cooke trained as a reporter on the Sunday Times and is now a lead feature writer at the Observer.

Friday 20 September 2013

Writing Workshops, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Martin Sorrell
Workshop: Writing for Radio
10am | 20 Sept 2013 | Playhouse | Tickets: £10.00

Martin Sorrell has written five plays for radio, as well as a number of features for Radio 4, and most recently an Essay for Radio 3. His workshop will focus on the do’s and don’ts of radio writing. Participants will hear some recorded excerpts from plays by well-known writers, e.g. Tom Stoppard and Anthony Minghella,
as well as from other works, and will try their hand at producing a first-rate page of radio writing.

Martin Sorrell is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Modern Languages, University of Exeter. He has published many works and is a prize-winning translator of French poetry and Molière plays.

Sam Willis, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Sam Willis
Britain’s Greatest Naval Dispatches
10am | 20 Sept 2013 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Lady Sykes

Sam Willis is a renowned maritime historian and archaeologist. In research for his PhD, he went to sea to gain the skills of seafaring and to understand naval warfare. This first-hand knowledge and expertise has led his work to be described as ‘A Nautical Tour de Force’. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Exeter’s Centre for Maritime Historical Studies.

The most recent of his histories, In the Hour of Victory, is based on the original dispatches, recently rediscovered in the British Library, from seven major fleet battles, including Trafalgar in 1805. Willis’s vivid descriptions and authentic language from the letters of the British admirals, surgeons and boatswains bring a dramatic narrative to an era of maritime history when Britain ruled the seas. Sam also wrote the successful Hearts of Oak trilogy and the Fighting Ships series.

Peter Snow, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Peter Snow
When Britain Burned the Whitehouse
12pm | 20 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Roger Bass

Distinguished journalist, presenter, political analyst and author, Peter Snow CBE has delighted and enlightened audiences throughout his long broadcasting career. His path has taken him from scriptwriter, Diplomatic & Defence Correspondent to election analyst and anchor of TV’s Newsnight. Some will recall his gymnastics on election nights plotting the course of the polling results with his “swing-o-meter”.

No stranger to military matters, Peter Snow is the grandson of WWI General Sir Thomas D’Oyly Snow.
 Along with his son Dan, an eminent historian, Peter presented the BAFTA-winning Battlefield Britain for BBC2 and followed with Twentieth Century Battlefields. His latest publication, When Britain Burned the White House, seeks to elucidate the first devastating attack on the heartland of the United States.

Sir Peter Stothard, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Peter Stothard
Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra
2pm | 20 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Martin Sorrell

Peter Stothard, editor of The Times Literary Supplement and Chairman of judges of the 2012 Man Booker Prize, found himself stranded in Alexandria in the winter of 2010. Witnessing the fall of Mubarak and the tendrils
 of the Arab Spring, he wrote Alexandria: the Last Nights of Cleopatra. Part memoir, travelogue and history, it documents Egypt’s past while also recording the revolutionary present.

Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, where he began his editorial career on the student newspaper Cherwell, Stothard is a consummate classicist and political observer. His previous books include Thirty Days: An Inside Account of Tony Blair at War and On the Spartacus Road.

Jackie Kay, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Jackie Kay
Red Rust Road, Fiere
4pm | 20 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Sarah-Jane Roberts

A gifted poet, novelist and short story writer, Jackie Kay is also a warm, funny and imaginative performer.
 Her novel Trumpet won the Guardian Fiction Prize and she has published several collections of poems including The Adoption Papers, Darling, Other Lovers and Life Mask.

Born in Edinburgh and brought up in Glasgow, Jackie’s recent memoir, Red Dust Road, is a brilliant and evocative account of her twenty-year search for her birth parents. Described as ‘a fantastic, probing and heart-warming read’ by the Independent, it’s packed with unexpected twists and turns as she traces and finds her Highlands mother and Nigerian father. Along the way, she discovers that inheritance and identity is about much more than genes and that what triumphs, ultimately, is love.

Jackie’s latest poetry, Fiere, is a lyrical counterpart to her memoir. Written with her trademark wit and flair, it features 40 poems that explore identity, family and friendship.

Hilary Mantel, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Hilary Mantel
The Mirror & The Light
7.30pm | 20 Sept 2013 | St Peter's | Tickets: £12.50 / £8.00

Chair: Erica Wagner

“There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one.” were the final words of Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies. Hilary is the Literary Festival’s Honorary President and it is our special pleasure that she will be appearing this year to talk about her current work on the third book in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy.

Hilary is the first British and the first woman author to be awarded the Man Booker Prize twice. Although her books have been praised for their literary excellence throughout her writing career, the award of prizes (which started in 1987, with the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize) accelerated significantly from 2009 with the award of the Man Booker prize, followed by the Walter Scott Prize (2010), a second Man Booker (2012) and the Costa Book of the Year (2012). To augment these we could point to the Sky Arts South Bank Award (2012) and the Bodley Medal (2013). The prizes she has already won (and the full list is given on our website) suggest she is a major literary figure of our time. But her book sales confirm that her work speaks to a much wider range of readers than might be expected to react just to the award of literary prizes. It is even said that she has single-handedly established a new genre of literary historical fiction. We consider ourselves especially privileged to be able to welcome her to speak at our festival.

Erica Wagner is the former Literary Editor of The Times and a regular contributor to the New York Times. She is also a published poet and author. Her books include the novel Seizure, the short story collection Gravity and Ariel’s Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of Birthday Letters.

Saturday 21 September 2013

BBC Radio 4 Bookclub, Hilary Mantel, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

BBC Radio 4’s Bookclub with Hilary Mantel
10am | 21 Sept 2013 | Bicton College | Tickets: Free (but extremely limited)

Chair: James Naughtie

We are pleased that BBC Radio 4’s Bookclub programme will be recording an event with Hilary Mantel during this year’s Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival. The event will be chaired by presenter and broadcaster James Naughtie and will have a limited capacity of just thirty readers. To be eligible for a place, you’ll need to read Bring Up The Bodies, come to the event ready with questions and be willing to speak up in the discussion.

Admission is free but ticketed and you can apply via the Radio 4 Bookclub website: Alternatively, you can email:

Writing Workshops, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Christopher Hill
Workshop: Writing for Children
10am | 21 Sept 2013 | Playhouse | Tickets: £10.00

Christopher Hill is a well-renowned writer, playwright and creative writing lecturer. His first play Multiplex was performed on the Olivier stage and has received over forty productions by teenage casts in the UK and internationally. His other stage plays include Heartbreak Beautiful and Ittullkyllyooiffyoodoo. His plays for BBC Radio 4 include Killing Maestros (for which he received the Peter Tinniswood Award), Accolades, Pundits and Love Me, Liberace.

Christopher is also the author of Osbert The Avenger, a fantastically dark and funny tale of an eleven year old who wins a scholarship to the Institute – Schwartzgarten’s sinister school for gifted children. His workshop is aimed at writers, parents and grandparents who would like to pen stories for children. Drawing on his own experience, he will talk about creating believable children’s characters and developing plots to keep young readers interested and engaged.

Rache Cooke, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Rachel Cooke
Her Brilliant Career:
 Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties
10am | 21 Sept 2013 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Erica Wagner

Rachel Cooke trained as a reporter on the Sunday Times and is now a lead feature writer at the Observer. She was named Interviewer of the Year at the 2006 British Press Awards and has written compelling and fearless portraits of everyone from Claire Tomalin and Gloria Steinham to Gore Vidal.

Written with her usual wit, warmth and insight, Rachel’s forthcoming book, Her Brilliant Career, tells the story of ten women whose pioneering professional lives and flexible private lives paved the way for feminism and all that followed. Alongside defence lawyer Rose Heilbron QC, there are fascinating tales about architect Alison Smithson, archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes, cook Patience Gray, editor Joan Werner Laurie, film director Muriel Box, film producer Betty Box, journalist and radio personality Nancy Spain, plantswoman Margery Fish and rally car driver and theatre owner, Sheila van Damm.

This is the fifties retold: vivid, surprising and, most of all, modern.

Rachel will discuss Her Brilliant Career with Erica Wagner, former Literary Editor of The Times. Erica has judged many literary prizes and interviewed many high profile authors including Philip Roth, Seamus Heaney and Doris Lessing.

Edna O'Brien, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Edna O'Brien
Country Girl
12pm | 21 Sept 2013 | St Peter's | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Charles Ward

One of Ireland’s greatest authors, Edna O’Brien has written over twenty works of fiction as well as plays, poetry, short stories and biographies of James Joyce and the poet, Lord Byron. Her novels include August is A Wicked Month, In The Forest, A Pagan Place and her acclaimed Trilogy, Country Girls. Her many awards include the Irish Pen Award For Literature, the American National Arts’ Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal.

Born in 1930, in what she perceived to be a repressive, suffocating and hypocritical Ireland, Edna got her first glint of an alternative point of view when she read TS Eliot’s Introducing James Joyce and Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist As A Young Man. Being married, and having fled to London in the swinging 60’s, gave her the liberty to explore women’s sexuality and emotional fulfilment, but also afforded an exile’s perspective of her beloved homeland. Her first novel, Country Girls, caused such a controversy in Ireland when it was published in 1960 that the book was banned for its explicit views of sex and Irish Catholic morality.

Now in her 80s, Edna has written a compelling memoir, Country Girl, that documents her childhood in County Clare, her adult life in London and her journey from a passionate lover of literature to one of our most lyrical observers.

Writing Workshops, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Callum Roberts
Ocean of Life: How Our Seas Are Changing
12pm | 21 Sept 2013 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50

How has the chemistry of the oceans changed the last few decades? How polluted are we making them? What fish will be extinct in the future? And is there anything we can do to halt or reverse the damage already caused to our marine and coastal ecosystems? We are delighted that Professor Callum Roberts has agreed to come to our festival by the sea and talk about his excellent new book Ocean of Life: How Our Seas Are Changing.

Callum is a marine conservation biologist in the Environment Department at the University of York. A prolific author and researcher, he has advised British, U.S and Caribbean governments on the creation of marine reserves. His first book The Unnatural History of the Sea won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Prize and was named one of the Best 10 Books of the Year by The Washington Post.

‘Those of us who worry about the future of our oceans could do a lot worse than take up this single refrain, “Listen to Callum Roberts!” Shouted in the ears of the world’s leaders, it might just make a difference. Meanwhile we should all read Ocean of Life, a thrilling narrative of oceanic natural history and a vital call to action.’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Alex Wade, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Alex Wade
From Surfing to Fleet Street
2pm | 21 Sept 2013 | Playhouse | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Martin Sorrell

A guest speaker at our 2010 Festival, Alex Wade will be returning to talk about his colourful journey from surfer and skateboarder to writer, journalist and media lawyer. A regular contributor to the Observer, Telegraph 
and The Times, his principal interests as a writer are sport, travel, law and the environment. He is an associate lecturer at University College Falmouth, specialising in media law and professional writing. His books include Wrecking Machine: A Tale of Real Fights and White Collars, Surf Nation and Amazing Surfing Stories.

A trustee of environmental action group Surfers Against Sewage, Alex started riding the waves in his early twenties and travelled the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland as research for his surfing adventures. Praising it upon publication, The Observer suggested ‘Surf Nation celebrates the sea and those who ride it in a peculiarly British way... (A) clever counterpoint to the idea that surfing has to happen in the sun.’

Alex will discuss and read extracts from his latest work with playwright and translator, Martin Sorrell.

Tony Buckland, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Toby Buckland
Flowers – Planning and Planting for Continuous Colour
2pm | 21 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Bunny Sykes

Toby Buckland has appeared on Garden Magic, Home Front in the Garden, Gardeners’ World and Great Food Live. He was presented with an Environment Award by the UK Garden Media Guild for a BBC programme entitled ‘For Peat’s Sake’ which investigated the environmental impact of the domestic use of peat. It is owing to the passionate advocacy of experts like Toby that we are offered a much wider range of alternative produces in garden centres today.

Toby’s local links are strong, starting with his initial training in horticulture at Bicton College, Budleigh. He now runs a highly successful and welcoming garden centre at Powderham Castle. His books include The Garden Makeover Book, Garden Boundaries, How to Make Your Garden Grow, Practical Gardening Handbook and 
Flowers: Planning and Planting for Continuous Colour.

Katie Ward, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Rising Stars
Ed Hogan & Katie Ward talk to Hilary Mantel
4pm | 21 Sept 2013 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Hilary Mantel
Rising Stars: Hilary Mantel introduces two prize-winning young authors.

Katie Ward has made a stunning authorial debut with her novel Girl Reading. The book is composed of seven chapters focusing on the portraits of seven women reading and the artists who captured them. The first chapter begins in 14th century Siena with Simone Martini’s Annunciation, then progresses through the centuries to the futuristic last chapter. Ward adroitly weaves her storytelling into the artistic and historical context of each period. Hilary Mantel has called the work “wise, poised and utterly original”. She has recently received the Clarissa Luard Award given to talented young writers under the age of 35.

Born in Derby in 1980, Ed Hogan is a graduate of the acclaimed MA Creative Writing course at the University of East Anglia. He received a bursary through the David Higham Award which supported the writing of his first novel, Blackmoor. This won the Desmond Elliott Prize for debut writers in 2009. Hogan was also shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.

His second novel, The Hunger Trace, is set again in the beautiful countryside of Derbyshire. The story revolves around a love triangle and the complex situation brought into sharp focus by a death. The “hunger trace” of the title refers to the lifetime failure of a falcon’s tail feathers to flourish when it has experienced starvation as a nestling. We see the same mark of deprivation in Hogan’s cast of characters.

Julia Copus, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Three Poets
Kaddy Benyon, Lavinia Greenlaw & Julia Copus
5.30pm | 21 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Madeleine Birch

The World’s Two Smallest Humans, Milk Fever, The Casual Perfect

Julia Copus is an award winning poet and playwright based in Somerset. Her collections include The Shuttered Eye and In Defense of Adultery. Her recent collection, The World’s Two Smallest Humans, explores love, longing, relationships, IVF treatment and the mysteries of conception with wry humour and grace.

Kaddy Benyon is currently Invited Poet at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. In 2012 she won the Crashaw Prize for her beautiful first collection, Milk Fever. A remarkable meditation on motherhood, childhood, myths, bonds, love and loss, the poems are simultaneously poignant and reflective, urgent and sensual.

Lavinia Greenlaw is a critically acclaimed poet, novelist and non-fiction author. Her poetry collections include Night Photograph, A World Where News Travelled Slowly and Minsk, which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot, Forward and Whitbread Poetry Prizes. Her latest collection, The Casual Perfect, explores travel, landscape, movement, space, language and the tension between thought and impulse.

Lynne Truss, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Lynne Truss with James Fleet
A Certain Age – Twelve monologues from the classic radio series
7.30pm | 21 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £12.50

Chair: Judi Spiers

Lynne Truss, English journalist, broadcaster, playwright and author is well-known for her humorous 2003 book about punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. In 2005 she published Talk to the Hand: the utter bloody rudeness of the world today (or six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door). In this year’s festival she delights us with A Certain Age - Twelve radio monologues, scripts presented just as they were broadcast on BBC Radio Four in 2002 and 2005. They are bittersweet tales about love, romance, friendship and family. In the tradition of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, her six men and six women each have very different stories to tell ...but all are funny, touching and beautifully observed. Whether describing mothers and daughters, married men, cat-lovers or ‘other women’, she is always brilliantly witty and perceptive.

Lynne Truss grew up in Petersham, and was educated at Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston. She gained a first-class honours degree at University College, London in English Language and Literature. Among her many activities she currently writes a column for The Sunday Telegraph.

James Fleet may be best known for his acting roles as Hugo in the long-running BBC series The Vicar of Dibley and Tom in Four Weddings and a Funeral. As an experienced and versatile actor of radio, TV, film and stage he will read from A Certain Age with Lynne Truss. His interpretation of these pithy monologues promises to be an entertaining session!

Judi Spiers joined BBC Radio 2 with her show on Saturdays and is also a well-known west country presenter who hosts her very popular weekday show on BBC Radio Devon.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Ferdinand Mount, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Ferdinand Mount
A Very British Oligarchy
10am | 22 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Michael Hartland

Ferdinand Mount is a British novelist, former editor of The Times Literary Supplement and columnist for 
The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He was involved in Conservative politics as head of the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street in 1982-83 under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership and wrote the 1983 Tory general election manifesto.

His latest publication, The New Few, explores the “Them-and-Us” undercurrent which runs through our current society and politics. In his book Mount dares to ask difficult questions: “Why has Britain become a more unequal society over the past thirty years? Why have the banks been bailed out with taxpayers’ money, while bankers are still receiving huge bonuses? Why have those responsible not been held accountable for the financial crash? Why has power in Britain become so concentrated in the hands of corrupt politicians who have been exposed cheating their constituents in the expenses scandal? Mount brings his intimate knowledge of government and policy to offer astute observations and optimistic solutions for a more accountable and democratic Britain.

Martin Rees, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Sir Martin Rees
From Mars to Multiverse
12pm (noon) | 22 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: David Strange, Chairman of the Norman Lockyer Observatory Society.

Professor Martin Rees is Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. Winner of the 2012 Isaac Newton medal, he has broadcast and lectured worldwide and been described as a “merchant of light”: a veritable beacon illuminating his field.

Martin has made significant contributions to the development of scientific thought on galaxy formation and black holes. He brilliantly communicated his understanding of the finely tuned physical
 laws that govern us in Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe; and in 2010 delivered
the Reith Lectures for the BBC. In his latest book, What We Still Don’t Know, he explores the frontiers of science, bringing to mind Donald Rumsfeld’s observation that there are even “unknown unknowns”.

Expect to have your mind expanded!

Sarah Moss, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Miriam Darlington & Sarah Moss
Otter Country | Names for the Sea
2pm | 22 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Carol Ackroyd

Miriam Darlington is a prize-winning poet and prominent voice in the new generation of British nature writers. For her critically acclaimed book Otter Country: In Search of Wild Otters, she spent a year travelling around Britain searching for one of Britain’s most elusive animals. Her search took her from her home in Devon to the wilds of Scotland, Wales and Northumberland and documents the British landscape and seasons. Written in mesmerising prose, Otter Country also includes her encounters with fellow wildlife enthusiasts, conservationists, ecologists, scientists, walkers, hunters and fellow poets.

Sarah Moss is an Associate Professor in Literature and Place at the University of Warwick and author of the novels Cold Earth and Night Waking. Her latest book, Names For The Sea: Strangers in Iceland, is a compelling and very funny account of the year her family relocated to Reykjavik. Both intimate and insightful, it records her experiences of the Northern lights, the comings and goings of migratory birds and the hillsides of boiling mud and volcanic craters. It also records how her adventure was shaped by the country’s economic collapse and the eruption of Eyiafiallajokull.

Jan Morris, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Jan Morris
Contact! A Book of Encounters
4pm | 22 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50

Chair: Mike Newby

Jan Morris is an acclaimed travel writer and historian with a shrewd eyed for detail and a huge enthusiasm
 for new adventures. Her books include Coronation Everest, The Pax Britannica Trilogy, Conundrum, volumes of collected travel essays and books about Venice, Spain, America and New York. After the war, Jan was The Times correspondent accompanying the British Mount Everest Expedition, which was the first to scale Mount Everest. She accepted her CBE in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours “out of polite respect”, but considers herself a Welsh nationalist republican at heart.

Jan will be reading and talking about her recent book Contact! A Book of Glimpses. Written with her trademark humour and descriptive prose, Contact! celebrates and champions some of the most memorable people she met on her travels from John Kennedy and Peter O’Toole to Nepalese hill women.

“Jan Morris is the great virtuoso of travel writers, sometimes summoning the energy of a full verbal orchestra, on other occasions reflecting with the poignancy of a carefully stopped single instrument.” Literary Review

Sarah Churchwell, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2013

Sarah Churchwell
Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby
7pm Doors, 7.30pm Start | 22 Sept 2013 | Public Hall | Tickets: £10.00

Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature at the University of East Anglia and a leading critic and broadcaster. Her book Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby tells the extraordinary tale of how F. Scott Fitzgerald created The Great Gatsby and in the process discovered modern America. Blending biography and history with letters, lost and forgotten newspaper accounts and newly uncovered archival material, Churchwell offers new insights into Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, Scott and Zelda’s relationship and the character Gatsby.

Beautifully written, Careless People provides a riveting snapshot of the time, the place, the music and the characters of prohibition America. It also carefully reconstructs the autumn of 1922 when Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald returned to New York and immersed themselves in parties, drunken weekends at Great Neck, Long Island and eventful nights at jazz clubs and speakeasies in the city.

In keeping with the spirit of The Great Gatsby, this event will feature live music from acclaimed Devon jazz and swing band, Hamer & Isaacs.

We encourage attendees to dress in suitable roaring 20s attire from waistcoats and Panama hats to flapper dresses and pearls!

The bar will be open from 7.00pm.