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A look ahead to the 2019 Derby Book Festival

PUBLISHED: 00:00 27 May 2019

Dolly Alderton Photo: Joanna Bongard

Dolly Alderton Photo: Joanna Bongard

joanna bongard

From 31st May to 8th June the fifth Derby Book Festival features internationally acclaimed authors and celebrates local writing talent with a range of talks and events

The fifth Derby Book Festival includes over 90 events and activities in venues across the city. Amongst the highlights is an appearance by broadcaster, author and Parliamentarian, Melvyn Bragg who will be talking about his new novel, Love Without End, a re-imagining of the intense love story of Heloise and Abelard, in Derby Theatre on 7th June. The day before, in a special event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, authors Giles Milton and Bali Rai will talk about their latest books on soldiers' experiences of the Normandy landings, with music and dance from, and inspired by, the period and the books.

Writers from across the world have been invited to take part this year. Markus Zusak will be flying in from Australia for 3rd June - his novel The Book Thief sold 16 million copies worldwide and the follow-up, an epic family tale entitled Bridge of Clay, looks destined to follow its success. Celebrating Norway and Nordic Noir are Gunaar Staalesen (8th June) and two contemporary fiction writers: Marta Breen and Helga Flatland (31st May).

Best-selling novelist Patrick Gale will be performing with the Bookshop Band, joined by Melissa Harrison, while at QUAD on 6th June the highly successful author Victoria Hislop will be discussing her latest novel, which is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece in World War II.

For those interested in business and politics, there's BBC Editorial Director, Kamal Ahmed, as well as former Channel 4 Economics Editor Paul Mason, and Professor Steve Peters on Managing the Mind. Crime fiction enthusiasts are amply catered for with James Runcie (Grantchester series) on 1st June, Stephen Booth in discussion with TM Logan and KL Slater on 3rd June, and The Lady Killers, a panel of female crime writers that includes CJ Tudor, Fiona Cummins, Caz Frear and Jo Jakeman, on 4th June.

History fans can enjoy Alison Weir (Anna of Kleve), Tracy Borman talking about Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him, Kate Hubbard on Bess of Hardwick and the brilliant Sir Simon Jenkins, on 7th June, whose most recent book is A Short History of Europe.

For families A Day of Dragons on 8th June is sure to appeal with lots of fun and activities in the Market Place, plus best-selling children's author Cressida Cowell at QUAD. Poetry enthusiasts will enjoy Hollie McNish, Henry Normal, Rupinder Kaur and Nafeesa Hamid and local poet Dan Webber who is launching his first collection, Genre Fluid. Humour is catered for by Dolly Alderton and Susan Calman. For sports fans: cricketer Graeme Fowler looks at the pressures of playing international cricket, Premier League lawyer Daniel Geehy reveals the inner workings of modern football from his first-hand knowledge of negotiating transfer deals and Tom Isitt recounts the story of the toughest bicycle race ever staged. There's certainly something for everyone!

The annual Festival Lunch is with Rory Stewart MP on 7th June at The Museum at The Wardwick and there are afternoon tea events with Clare Hunter, who will talk about Threads of Life, the history of needlework and, on 3rd June at St Mary's Church Hall local expert gardener Griselda Kerr will be talking about her recently published practical guide to looking after garden plants throughout the year.

The sign-off to what is sure to be another fantastic festival is a Night of Circus and Cabaret at Déda Theatre on 8th June.

Full details and online bookings at www.derbybookfestival.co.uk or tickets can be booked by phone on 01332 290606 or at QUAD and other host venues.

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