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Manchester Literature Festival

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by David Keyworth (subscribe)
I’m a freelance journalist and published poet, based in Manchester. https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/david-keyworth/49/b3a/b83
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Talking books
Rising stars join established names including Melvyn Bragg, Robert Harris and Carol Ann Duffy, in the line-up for Manchester Literature Festival (MLF), as it celebrates its tenth anniversary.
Manchester Literature Festival Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg c. ITV

There will also be literary tours, including a Charles Dickens walking tour and a Wuthering Heights coach tour. Events for children and families include a cartooning workshop with a Beano writer and artist and an adaptation of the book Flyaway Katie, in the form of a puppet show.

Literature and music come together in Kathryn Williams' performance of songs inspired by Sylvia Plath. Manchester Jazz Festival and MLF have also joined forces to commission a multimedia performance of William Hogarth's series of paintings - A Rake's Progress.

Here is a completely subjective pick of eye-catching events in this year's brochure.
May-Lan Tan Manchester Literature Festival
May-Lan Tan

1) May Al-Nakib & May-Lan Tan

The chance to discover or find out more about authors from around the world is always a fascinating element of MLF's offering. On Tuesday 13th October, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation plays host to two short story writers. In her first collection, The Hidden Light of Objects, Kuwait writer Mai Al-Nakib conveys the lives of 'ordinary people' in the midst of Middle Eastern unrest. The collection won the Edinburgh First Fiction Award.

May-Lan Tan was born in Hong Kong. Her debut collection Things to Make and Break was shortlisted for the 2014 Guardian First Book Award.

Tuesday 13th October, 6pm, International Anthony Burgess Foundation.


2) Precarious Passages

An A road is the unlikely inspiration for a literary journey by Manchester Left Writers. At a free event at Manchester Central Library, the group will read a new work inspired by daily travels along the A6, by bus and bicycle. Footage from the North West Film Archive and Mitchell & Kenyon will be weaved into the reading.

Tuesday 20th October, 6pm, Central Library.

3) Jukebox Choice

What are the magical ingredients that go into creating an exceptional singer? Tracey Thorn, famous for being half of Everything But the Girl and for recording with Massive Attack, amongst others, sings the praises of other vocalists in Naked at the Albert Hall: The Inside Story of Singing.

Tracey will be joined by author and former Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam, as they explore the art of great singing and play a few of their favourite tunes.

Tuesday 20th October, 7.30pm, Gorilla.

4) PostCapitalism

Was the financial crisis of 2008 just a temporary slowdown in capitalism's onward ascent or was it a warning that it could be overtaken by a different system. In his new book PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, Paul Mason, economics editor for Channel 4 news, argues that the internet, new technology, increasing inequality and climate change will open up the possibility of a different model, closer to the sharing economy model. Is this the way we are heading or will capitalism find a way to survive and adapt? Paul Mason will discuss what lies ahead with Katy Shaw, Principal Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at Leeds Beckett University.

Thursday 22nd October, 7.30pm, Royal Northern College of Music.

These four choices are only a sprinkling of over 80 events, which will be featured during the festival. In 2006 the festival featured 30 events. A formula based on a mixture of new and established names, home-grown writers and those from overseas has helped MLF to expand without compromising its literary credentials.
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Why? Book festival with a global reach
Phone: 0843 208 0500
Where: Manchester, various locations
Cost: Events priced differently, some are free
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