The University of East Anglia’s first creative writing student, Ian McEwan (pictured), will return as part of its International Literary Festival this autumn.
He will join a diverse line-up featuring comedian Ben Elton and broadcaster Jeremy Vine for the festival, which is hosted by the university’s Arthur Miller Centre.
The announcement comes after Norwich was named England’s first UNESCO City of Literature and cements the university’s continued contribution to the fields of literature, creative writing, reading and the literary arts.
The festival opens on September 26 with Sebastian Faulks, the award-winning author of novels including The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong, and Charlotte Gray. Meanwhile BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine will talk about his new book It’s All News to Me on October 3.
US writer Michael Chabon, who received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, will appear on October 8. He is followed by PEN/Faulkner award-winner TC Boyle on October 10.
Novelist, poet, scriptwriter and biographer Edna O’Brien will speak about her memoir Country Girls at the festival on October 24. And Ian McEwan, whose many works include Atonement, the Booker Prize-winning Amsterdam and recently Solar, will appear on October 31.
November features Pat Barker, who won the Booker Prize for Ghost Road, as well as comedian and writer Ben Elton. Lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, known for representing and writing about detainees at Guantánamo Bay, brings the festival to a close on November 14.
The autumn festival was launched in 1991 and featured American playwright Arthur Miller, authors Doris Lessing and Salman Rushdie, writer and politician Gore Vidal and best-selling crime writers PD James and Ruth Rendell. Over the years the festival has welcomed leading names from the worlds of literature, stage, screen, journalism, comedy, science and politics. They have ranged from Susan Sontag, Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter, Seamus Heaney and Stephen Poliakoff, to Stephen Fry, Jeremy Paxman, Cherie Blair and Michael Palin.
Festival organiser Prof Chris Bigsby, from UEA’s school of American Studies
, said: “This year’s Arthur Miller Centre International Literary Festival is as various as it is impressive.
“The festival regularly attracts authors of the very highest calibre and this year’s line-up includes winners of the Booker Prize, the British Book Awards, the Pulitzer Prize the Pen/Faulker Award, and the European Prize for Literature.
“I’m particularly delighted that such major figures from this country and around the world will join us as Norwich celebrates becoming a UNESCO City of Literature,” he added.
All events begin at 7pm in Lecture Theatre 1 at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Season tickets priced £49 (concessions £42) and individual tickets priced £7 (no concessions) are available from the UEA Box Office
on 01603 508050. For further details visit the International Literary Festival
Wednesday, September 26: SEBASTIAN FAULKS
, the award-winning novelist, was born in 1953 and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He has worked as literary editor of The Independent and Deputy Editor of The Independent on Sunday. His books include The Girl at the Lion D’or, Birdsong, Charlotte Gray, Engleby, A Week in December and the James Bond adventure Devil May Care. His latest novel is A Possible Life (2012).
Wednesday, October 3: JEREMY VINE
, a graduate of Durham University, and Broadcaster of the Year in 2011, has been a presenter on Newsnight and Panorama, a reporter on the Today programme, a political correspondent at Westminster and a BBC Africa correspondent based in Johannesburg. He has presented his radio show on BBC Radio 2 since 2003. His book, It’s All News to Me, was published earlier this year.
Monday, October 8: MICHAEL CHABON
was born in Washington, D.C. and has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine. His first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburg, appeared in 1988. It was followed by Wonder Boys (1995) and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000. Since then he has published four further novels, the latest being Telegraph Avenue. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Wednesday, October 10: TC BOYLE
, a graduate of the State University of New York, holds an MA from the famous University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner award for his novel World’s End, one of 14 novels. He has also won awards for his short stories of which there are 8 collections. His latest novel is San Miguel. He is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and lives in Santa Barbara.
Wednesday, October 24: EDNA O’BRIEN
, a multiple award-winning writer, was born in County Clare in 1930. She published her first novel, The Country Girls, in 1960. This was to form part of a trilogy. Since then not only has she written a string of successful novels but she has also published poetry, drama, short stories and two biographies, one of James Joyce and one of Byron. Her latest book, Country Girl, is a memoir.
Wednesday, October 31: IAN McEWAN
, the award-winning author, is a graduate of Sussex University and UEA. His first book, a collection of short stories, was published in 1975 and won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Times, Amsterdam, Atonement, Saturday, On Chesil Beach and Solar. His new book, Sweet Tooth, was published in August. He is a winner of the Jerusalem Prize and the Shakespeare Prize and has been short-listed for the Booker Prize six times, winning in 1998 with Amsterdam.
Wednesday, November 7: PAT BARKER
was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in 1943. She graduated from the LSE in 1965 and published her first novel, Union Street, in 1982. Following three further novels she wrote a trilogy set in World War I, the second of which, The Eye in the Door, won a Guardian Award and the third, The Ghost Road, a Booker Prize. Since then she has published a further five novels, the latest being Toby’s Room.
Thursday, November 8: BEN ELTON
, born in 1959 and a graduate of Manchester University, is a comedian, novelist, playwright, script writer and director. His novels include Popcorn, Inconceivable, High Society and Meltdown. Known early in his career as a stand-up comedian, on television he was known in particular for his work on Blackadder. He also collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on The Beautiful Game and Love Never Died. His latest novel is Two Brothers.
Wednesday, November 14: CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH
was born in 1959 and, though a British citizen, is a graduate of Columbia University Law School. He has consistently worked on behalf of convicted defendants sentenced to capital punishment. In Britain, where he now lives, he has worked as legal director of Reprieve and has represented detainees at Guantánamo Bay, including Binyam Mohamed. His books include Bad Men: Guantánamo Bay and the Secret Prisons (2007) and Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America (2012).