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The Cheltenham Literature Festival – 4th to 13th October 2019

12th September 2019

It’s almost time for the The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. This year the dates are 4th to 13th October, and this marks the 70th anniversary of the world’s oldest literature festival. Over 900 of the world’s best writers, brightest thinkers and inspiring performers will be in Cheltenham for 10 extraordinary days of unique experiences, critical debate and literary revelry.

The Cheltenham Literature Festival

Lovers of TripFiction might particularly be interested in the Festival’s inspirational list of adventurers and explorers this year, who will share their unique journeys. Presenter Sue Perkins will talk about her trip to the Mekong Delta, comedian Dom Joly will trace his hike across Lebanon, Monisha Rajesh will recount her 45,000-mile adventure on the world’s most remarkable railways, Adam Weymouth will discuss his solo canoe odyssey along the Yukon River, and Raynor Winn will revisit her 630-mile walk on the South West Coastal path. BAFTA winning naturalist, writer and television presenter Steve Backshall will share his exploration of undiscovered worlds and former British Army Officer and explorer Levison Wood will whisk the audience through the heart of Middle East, adventurers Mark Boyle and Ben Fogle will explore the joys without modern technology and The Sunday Times travel team, including Susan D’Arcy, will be sharing their expert knowledge.

Literary giants Colm Toibin, Sebastian Faulks, Ian McEwan, Ali Smith and Robert Harris will all be in attendance.

Faith & philosophy, sport, lifestyle, fiction, nature, memoir & biography, poetry, science, travel & adventure and many other themes…whatever your interest, the Festival will have something to offer you. Take a look at the full Festival programme here.

TripFiction’s Andrew has been lucky to secure some tickets to this year’s Festival and will be reporting back on the following literary events:

As I Walked Out….

A reference to the classic memoir and travelogue of Laurie Lee, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning.

Laurie Lee’s iconic journey on foot from the Cotswolds through Spain is one that travel writer Alastair Humphreys credits with inspiring his life of adventure. Almost a century after Lee set out, Humphreys decided to retrace the author’s trip by busking his way across Europe. Author and film-maker Jacki Hill-Murphy recreated Victorian nurse Kate Marsden’s journey across Siberia, as well as the journeys of numerous early female explorers. Together with Julia Wheeler they discuss travel inspiration and the appeal of travelling in another’s footsteps. The essence of TripFiction, through the pages of a book if not in person!

Victoria Hislop

The multi-million-copy bestselling author of The Island and Cartes Postales from Greece speaks to Cathy Rentzenbrink about Those Who Are Loved, her captivating new novel set against the backdrop of German-occupied Greece.

Kevin Barry

The Goldsmiths Prize-winning writer of Beatlebone and City of Bohane brings his latest novel, Night Boat to Tangier, which tracks two fading Irish gangsters. A biting black comedy with heart, he discusses it with Fiona Lensvelt.

Celeste Ng

In a special visit from Boston, we welcome the American writer of the hugely popular and critically-acclaimed bestsellers Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere, soon to be adapted for the screen featuring Reese Witherspoon and Julia Roberts. She joins Sam Baker to discuss her literary page-turners that tackle family dynamics, suburban life and race relations.

David Nicholls

Very few people write about teenage life as well as David Nicholls. He tells Cathy Rentzenbrink about his new novel, Sweet Sorrow, a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood, the confusion of family life and that brief, searing explosion of first love.

Desert Island Books with Sebastian Faulks

A tough task for any bibliophile: if you could only take six books with you to a desert island, which would you choose? The BBC’s Sophie Raworth talks to bestselling author Sebastian Faulks about his castaway reads.

Hopefully some of you will be able to visit Cheltenham too. See you there!

Andrew for the TripFiction team

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