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World-class Spring Literary Festival line-up announced


Give yourself something to look forward to and avoid the post-Christmas blues by booking to hear one of the seven brilliant authors talking about their life and work at the University of East Anglia’s (UEA’s) Spring Literary Festival. The events run from 22 February to 3 May – and tickets are available now.

Dr Philip Langeskov, festival director and lecturer in creative writing, said: “After months of top-secret negotiations, it’s always a thrill to reveal the line-up for the Spring Literary Festival. I think it’s a fantastic programme – we have prize-winners galore, a certain former Shadow Chancellor and, in George Saunders, one of the most exciting writers at work today. It confirms that UEA continues to attract the world’s best writing talent.’’

Lionel Shriver, the award-winning author of 12 novels, including Big Brother and the Orange prize-winning We Need to Talk about Kevin, visits UEA on 22 February.

On 1 March Elif Shafak, the most-widely read female author in Turkey and a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian and Time magazine, discusses her 10 novels, including her latest, Daughters of Eve.

Louise Doughty speaks about her eight novels, including top-10 bestseller Apple Tree Yard – made into a BBC series - on 8 March. She’s followed on 16 March by the award-winning short story writer George Saunders, who was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2013 and releases his much-anticipated first novel in 2017.

Legendary Shakespearean actor Michael Pennington will talk about his roles during his 50-year stage and screen career on 22 March, as well as his 10 books, including his latest, King Lear in Brooklyn.

On 26 April former MP, Cabinet Minister and Treasury Chief Economic Adviser and now senior fellow at Harvard, visiting professor at King’s College London as well as chairman of Norwich City FC and Strictly Come Dancing star, Ed Balls is in conversation about his memoir Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics.

The Festival concludes on 3 May with international best-seller Ali Smith, author of 15 books, including How to be Both which won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Folio Prize.

The events will take place in UEA Lecture Theatre 1 and tickets are available online at the Festival website (www.uea.ac.uk/litfest/tickets). Season tickets (for all seven dates) are £48 full price and £40 concession. Individual tickets are £8 and student individual tickets are £4. Email the literary events team on literaryevents@uea.ac.uk for more information.