York Literature Festival is delighted to announce that we are hosting a selection of events this October in collaboration with our friends at Fox Lane Books. These events will all be held at St Peter’s School.
First, on Tuesday 3 October, we have bestselling author Emma Donoghue (Room) discussing her latest novel, Learned by Heart, with fellow writer Fiona Shaw. Learned by Heart is the heartbreaking story of the love of two women – Anne Lister, the real-life inspiration behind Gentleman Jack, and her first love, Eliza Raine. In 1805, at boarding school in York, two fourteen-year-olds meet – an orphan heiress, sent from India to England at six, and a gifted troublemaker. Anne Lister would go on to be a gifted diarist, famous the world over. But in the early nineteenth century she met Eliza Raine, someone who would change her life forever.
On Friday 6 October we have Rick Broadbent, who has written for The Times for 20 years and authored and ghost-written 12 books. His latest is Now Then, to be published at the beginning of October, and he will be here to discuss it. Written from the perspective of an exiled Yorkshireman this bestselling, award winning author returns to his native county to discover and reveal its soul. We all know the tropes – Geoffrey Boycott incarnate, ferret-leggers and folk singers gambolling about Ilkley Moor without appropriate headgear – but why is Yorkshire God’s Own County?
In our final event of the series we will be joined by Emma Smith on Monday 9 October. This event is a must for anyone who loves to read and appreciates the “portable magic” of books. Emma’s book Portable Magic unfurls an exciting and anarchic new story of the book in human hands, exploring when, why and how it acquired its particular hold over us. Gathering together a millennium’s worth of pivotal encounters with volumes big and small, Smith reveals that, as much as their contents, it is books’ physical form – their ‘bookhood’ – that lends them their distinctive and sometimes dangerous magic.Emma Smith was born and brought up in Leeds, went unexpectedly to university in Oxford, and never really left. She is now Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College, the author of Portable Magic and the Sunday Times bestseller This is Shakespeare.