Festival Programme 2015

THURSDAY 17 September 2015

John Gray

John Gray
The Soul of The Marionette:
A Short Enquiry into Human Freedom

12pm | Temple Church

John Gray has been Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. A lively and controversial philosopher, his work has been highly praised by Ian McEwan, John Banville, Will Self and environmental scientist James Lovelock. John’s new book, The Soul of The Marionettes, explores religious and philosophical ideas to show how they question the very idea of human freedom…

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Helen Lederer

Helen Lederer
Losing It
2pm | Temple Church

Helen Lederer is a well-known British comedian, actress and writer. She cut her teeth at London’s famous Comedy Store in the 1980s alongside Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Ben Elton. Since then, Helen has performed in dozens of television shows and films from Absolutely Fabulous and One Foot in the Grave to Horrid Henry. Helen’s debut novel, Losing It, is written with the same wit, observational humour and bittersweet characterisations as her stand-up material…

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Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr
Creatures:
A Celebration of the Life and Work of Judith Kerr

4.15pm | St. Peter’s Church

A firm favourite with all generations, Judith Kerr is a much loved children’s author and illustrator. Her many books include The Tiger Who Came to Tea, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Great Granny Gang, My Henry, The Crocodile Under the Bed and the incredibly popular Mog series.

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Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel
My Life in Books
7.30pm | St Peter’s Church

From Jane Eyre to Brideshead Revisited: from Crime and Punishment to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: Hilary Mantel traces her evolution as reader and writer, discussing the authors who gave her courage, those she holds in awe, and those who make her laugh. As a child she saw reading not as an escape but as the key to experience; she explores how the stories she encountered still shape her imagination today and influence her practice as a writer…

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FRIDAY 18 September 2015

Diary of A Wimpy Kid

Wimpy Kid Show
Childrens’ event for local schools. Performance based on the best-selling book.
9.30am | Public Hall

Since their launch in 2004, Jeff Kinney’s fun, laugh-along books have been a firm favourite with young readers. Translated into 45 languages, the nine volumes of Diary of a Wimpy Kid are packed with colourful adventures and experiences.

Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz …

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The Dinosaur That Pooped

The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet
Childrens’ event for local schools. Performance based on the best-selling book.
1.30pm | St Peter’s School

Created from the bestselling picture book series, host Alastair Watson brings The Dinosaur That Pooped books to life with help from The Dinosaur himself! An interactive, fun event that includes dinosaur impressions, live drawing, a Dinosaur rhyme and gross games like Guess Poo. The event will also feature exclusive video clips of The Dinosaur That Pooped creators, McBusted’s Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter. Perfect for entertaining children ages 5+ …

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Rachel Holmes

Rachel Holmes
Eleanor Marx
10am | Temple Church

Rachel Holmes is a biographer, historian and editor based in Gloucestershire. Her books include The Secret Life of Dr James Barry and The Hottentot Venus: The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman. She was the co-editor of Fifty Shades of Feminism and co-commissioning editor of Sixty Six Books: Twenty First Century Writers Respond to the King James Bible. Tristram Hunt calls Rachel’s writing ‘Bold, fluent, scholarly and rewarding’ whilst Shami Chakrabarti believes ‘Rachel Holmes’s great genius is that she’s a historian who writes like a novelist.’

Rachel’s latest book is a rich and remarkable biography of Eleanor Marx. An engrossing read, it balances the exceptional work Marx did as a campaigner, trade union leader, feminist, biographer, editor and translator with rare insight into her personal life…

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Ruth Scurr

Ruth Scurr
John Aubrey: My Own Life
12pm | Temple Church

Ruth Scurr is a historian, biographer and literary critic. Her first book, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution, won the Franco-British Society Literary Prize in 2006 and was listed among the 100 Best Books of the Decade in The Times. She reviews regularly for leading broadsheets including The Telegraph and Wall Street Journal and teaches history and politics at Cambridge University.

Praised by Michael Holroyd and Hilary Mantel, her new book, John Aubrey: My Own Life, is an ambitious and pioneering biography of the seventeenth century English gentleman…

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Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett
Dreaming in Colour
12pm | Public Hall | FULLY BOOKED

Kaffe Fassett was born in San Francisco and now lives in London. In 1988 he became the first textile artist to have a one man show at the Victoria and Albert Museum and has since exhibited his quilts, tapestries and textiles all over the world. He is renowned for his use of beautiful colours and bold patterns and his work is highly distinctive.

Kaffe is also a successful author that’s published up to 20 books including Kaffe Fassett’s Quilt Road, Caravan of Quilts, Kaleidoscope of Quilts, Quilts Grandeur and Quilts in Morocco. We’re looking forward to welcoming him to Devon and hearing him wax lyrical about his work, his passion for textiles and his memoir Dreaming in Colour

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David Lloyd

David Lloyd
Last in the Tin Bath
2.15pm | Public Hall | FULLY BOOKED

David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd played cricket for Lancashire and England between 1965 and 1985, winning nine Test caps. He went on to coach England in the 1990s before becoming a hugely popular commentator for Sky, blending immense knowledge and experience of the game with frank humour. His books include Start The Car, Not Dark Yet: A Very Funny Book About a Very Serious Game and The Ashes According to Bumble.

David’s forthcoming autobiography, Last in the Tin Bath, is a funny and compelling book that charts the arc of his life, from growing up in Accrington and making his debut for Lancashire in his teens to sitting behind the microphone and discussing other cricket players …

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Christine Lee

Christine Lee
The Midwife’s Sister
2.30pm | Temple Church

Christine Lee is a sculptor based in Budleigh. Born in Watford in the late 1930s, she began her working life as a nurse, training at the Royal Berkshire Hospital alongside her sister Jennifer Worth. Christine’s memoir, The Midwife’s Sister, chronicles her and Jennifer’s lives from their idyllic early childhood, the disintegration of their parents’ marriage and their unhappy experiences at boarding school through to their own relationships, marriages and children. At the heart of her story lies their strong bond as sisters and their shared heartbreak, turbulence and joy …

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New Voices: Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins, The Girl On The Train, Budlitfest
The Girl On The Train
4.30pm | Temple Church | FULLY BOOKED

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist before deciding to pursue a career as a writer. Her debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been published around the world and optioned for film by Dreamworks. A New York Times bestseller, Tess Gerritsen described it as “So thrilling and tense and wildly unpredictable, I simply could not put it down.”

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Jed Falby & Paul Gravett

Jed Falby
From Micky Mouse to Maus:
How Comics Became Graphic Novels

4.30pm | Public Hall

There’s much more to comics today than meets the eye. Their range of stories and subjects has expanded remarkably as graphic novels, comics in book form to read and re-read. A turning point came in 1992, when Maus, Art Spiegelman’s biography of his parents’ survival of Auschwitz, became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize. Since then, Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan won the Guardian First Novel Award and Mary and Bryan Talbot’s Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes scooped the 2012 Costa Biography Prize. Your guides to enjoying this fascinating medium are Jed Falby and Paul Gravett

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Poldark

Poldark, Ross Poldark, Winston Graham
Andrew Graham, Debbie Horsfield & others TBC
8pm | St Peter’s Church

First published seventy years ago, Winston Graham’s Poldark novels depicted a Cornwall of rugged coastlines and smugglers coves, windswept moors and tin mines. Adapted into a television series in the mid 1970s, the novels were recently adapted again by scriptwriter Debbie Horsfield into a hugely popular, eight part drama for the BBC.

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SATURDAY 19 September 2015

Amy Sparkes

Amy Sparkes, author, workshop, children, writing
Writing for Children Workshop
10am | Playhouse

Amy Sparkes is a children’s author based in Devon. She lives with her husband, five young children, a cat and a sock goblin called Arthur. Her first book, Hodge the Hedgehog, appeared on CBeebies storytime and her 2013 book Do Not Enter the Monster Zoo was short-listed for The Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Booktrust Best Book Award. Her latest books are The Mouse Who Sailed the Seas and The Goodnight Star.

A regular performer in schools and bookshops, Amy will give a workshop for adults who would like to write picture books for children.

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Peter Nasmyth

Peter Nasmyth
Literature and Landscape
in East Devon

10am | Public Hall

Peter Nasmyth is a writer and photographer who grew up in East Devon, but for the last 25 years focused his attention on the Caucasus. He has written several books about the region including Georgia, in the Mountains of Poetry and a walking guide Walking in the Caucasus. In 2014 he turned his eye back onto his homeland and wrote Literature and Landscape in East Devon as an investigation into the subtle linkage between writers and their environments.

A first, full literary companion to the East Devon area, his beautiful book combines large, full colour photographs with serious research, quotations and observations on literature and landscape …

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Xinran

Xinran
Buy Me The Sky: The Remarkable Truth of China’s One-Child Generation
10am | Temple Church

Xinran is a British-Chinese journalist, author and radio presenter. Born in Beijing, she presented the popular radio show, Words on the Night Breeze, to thousands of listeners throughout the 1990s. In 1997, she moved to London and began writing some of the stories she’d collected whilst travelling across her homeland. Her books include the seminal The Good Women of China, Sky Burial, China Witness: Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother and the novel Miss Chopsticks.

A unique chronicler of Chinese lives past and present, Xinran’s new book, Buy Me The Sky, looks past the headlines of China’s controversial, one-child policy and documents the real stories of the country’s one-child generations …

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Jessie Childs

Jessie Childs
God’s Traitors:
Terror & Faith in Elizabethan England

12pm | Public Hall

Jessie Childs is a historian based in London. Her first book, Henry VIII’s Last Victim, won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography and her second, God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England, won the 2015 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History. She is a regular contributor to television and radio, and writes and reviews for the Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement, History Today and BBC History magazine.

Jessie’s latest book, God’s Traitors, presents a vivid and fascinating account of the Catholic predicament in post-reformation, Elizabethan England …

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Sarah Winman

Sarah Winman, author, A Year of Marvellous Ways, literary festival, budleigh salterton, budlitfest, devon,
A Year of Marvellous Ways
12pm | Temple Church

One of Britain’s most promising young writers, Sarah Winman published her debut novel, When God Was a Rabbit, in 2011. An instant Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and paperback, it received widespread critical acclaim and went on to be published in 26 countries. The Guardian called it ‘sharply funny, whimsical and innovative’ whilst Red described it as ‘a wonderful coming-of-age story… each character is created with a sense of depth and feeling that draws you in wholeheartedly.’

Sarah’s new novel, A Year of Marvellous Ways, is an equally rich and captivating tale. …

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David Hare

David Hare
The Blue Touch Paper
2.15pm | St Peter’s Church

One of Britain’s finest dramatists, David Hare has written a wealth of material for theatre, film and television. Seventeen of his twenty-nine plays have premiered at the National Theatre including Plenty, Skylight, The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, A Map of The World and The Absence of War. He was knighted in 1998 and has received a multitude of awards including a BAFTA, a Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear, two Laurence Olivier Awards and the PEN Pinter Prize.

We’re delighted David is coming to Budleigh to talk about the first volume of his long awaited memoir, The Blue Touch Paper.

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Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel
The Mirror & The Light
4.30pm | St Peter’s Church | FULLY BOOKED

This year, Thomas Cromwell went to New York. After sell-out seasons in Stratford-on-Avon and the West End, the RSC productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies arrived on Broadway, gathering in more Tony award nominations than any other play. Meanwhile, Hilary Mantel continues work on the final novel in her trilogy. She will read from The Mirror & The Light, talk about her new and accidental trade as playwright, and describe the process of bringing the Tudors to television in a controversial, record-breaking BBC series …

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Margaret Drabble

Margaret Drabble
The Pure Gold Baby
8pm | St Peter’s Church

One of the grand dames of modern literature, Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield and educated at Newham College, Cambridge. She is the author of eighteen novels including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone, The Peppered Moth and The Radiant Way. A magnificent storyteller, she was awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature.

Margaret’s latest novel, The Pure Gold Baby, is a profound and life-affirming story of family, friendship, community, motherhood and transformation …

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SUNDAY 20 September 2015

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
The Story of Alice:
Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland

10am | Public Hall

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Magdalen College. His books include Victorian Afterlives: The Shaping of Influence in Nineteenth Century Literature and Becoming Dickens: The Invention of A Novelist, which won the Duff Cooper Prize.

His acclaimed new book, The Story of Alice, explores why Alice in Wonderland still enchants us 150 years after publication. Delightfully written, it zooms in on the complex word games, magical characters and vivid imagination of Wonderland, then examines the complex history beneath the fairy tale …

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Patrick Gale

Patrick Gale
A Place Called Winter
12pm | Public Hall

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight and now lives on a farm near Land’s End. One of the country’s best-loved novelists, he’s the author of 19 books including A Perfectly Good Man, Tree Surgery For Beginners, Rough Music and the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition. The Observer described him as ‘A writer with heart, soul… one whose company you relish and trust.’

Patrick’s latest novel, A Place Called Winter, is an epic and breathtaking story that transports the reader from turn-of-the-century, Edwardian England to the newly colonised Canadian prairies …

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Ben Okri

Ben Okri
The Age of Magic
2.15pm | St Peter’s Church

An international bestselling author, Ben Okri was born in Nigeria and has had his work translated into 26 languages. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1991 for The Famished Road and has been the recipient of many international awards. A prolific wordsmith, he has written ten novels, three collections of poetry and several books of essays and short stories including Songs of Enchantment, Astonishing the Gods, Dangerous Love, An African Elegy and A Way of Being Free.

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Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters
The Paying Guests
4.30pm | St Peter’s Church

One of our finest literary novelists, Sarah Waters is treasured by readers, critics and authors alike. A former scholar, she channels her passion for Victorian literature and melodrama into lyrical and deeply compelling historical novels, ghost stories and tales of dangerous desire. Sarah’s latest novel, The Paying Guests, is a thrilling tale of forbidden love described with exquisite tension and tenderness. Set in London in 1922, in the aftermath of World War I …

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