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Stratford Lit Fest: 16 brilliant Winter Weekend talks to stream

During lockdown 2, SLF's Winter Weekend will now take place online between Nov 20 & 25 with Dame Hilary Mantel, the BBC's Andrew Marr, and Charles Spencer, plus the V&A's curator of fashion Claire Wilcox and much more...

Avid bookworms, literary fans and aspiring writers will be able to access a huge and varied programme of online events this month with a top line-up of distinguished writers, broadcasters and illustrators.

It looks amazing! Key events via the Festival’s website, to bookmark in your diary for Nov 20 – 25 include:

  • twice-Booker prize winner, Dame Hilary Mantel, talking about her acclaimed Cromwell Trilogy and her latest book of essays, Mantel Pieces;
  • best-selling author, Andrew Marr, in conversation with fellow BBC broadcaster Sophie Raworth about what made Britain the country it is today
  • historian Charles Spencer will talk about a shipwreck that changed history
  • acclaimed modern historian and Reith lecturer, Margaret MacMillan, suggests that humans are programmed for war
  • Claire Wilcox, curator of fashion at the V&A, will talk about a life in clothes and, in a talk suited to the times we find ourselves in
  • enjoy listening to two of the country’s leading poets. Roger McGough – who Carol Duffy calls ‘the patron saint of poetry’ reads from his latest collection Joined up Writing, and Lemn Sissay, who shares his best-selling memoir, My Name is Why, reflecting on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness.
  • the much-loved comedian Victoria Wood will be remembered by her biographer, Jasper Rees, and the actor Duncan Preston, who acted with her in so much of her TV work including Acorn Antiques and Dinnerladies
  • Times columnist and Radio 4’s Great Lives presenter, Matthew Parris, looking at how trauma shapes great leaders and innovator
  • topically significant, political commentators Iain Dale and Steve Richards will be discussing what separates a good Prime Minister from a bad one
  • colonial history specialist, Michael Taylor joins Amelia Gentleman – the Guardian journalist who revealed the Windrush scandal – to explore Britain’s conflicted relationship with its colonial past
  • on a lighter note, the UK’s leading impressionist Rory Bremner will explain his craft, and coping in lockdown
  • highly acclaimed biographer, Hermione Lee, will be in conversation with legendary director Sir Richard Eyre to discuss Sir Tom Stoppard, the subject of Hermione’s latest book
  • the entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan will discuss why unpredictability is actually good for us
  • new writing, so impacted upon by lockdown and the closure of bookshops, will be celebrated with a You Heard it Here First debut authors event, featuring three of the most exciting new voices published this autumn: Rebecca Watson, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Gabriel Krauze.
  • there’s much fun for families too with the Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown, a crocodile collaboration between poet Roger McGough and Stratford-based BAFTA wining illustrator Greg McLeod, storytelling online with Kate Coleman, Stratford’s leading storyteller.
  • the Festival is also partnering with Cambridge Literary Festival to present an online discussion exploring the seismic impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s cultural sector.
  • Christmas book-buying recommendations from authors and experts will also be shared, and there will be a virtual bookshop.

Tickets are now on sale (from £5) and are available, here stratlitfest.co.uk.

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