Manchester Literature Festival's Spring trio of events at Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, City Centre, 21 March 2023, from £8.00 - Book now
As part of its spring programme, Manchester Literature Festival welcomes Booker Prize-winning author Eleanor Catton back to the UNESCO City of Literature to introduce her ‘spectacular’ new novel Birnam Wood.
Ten years after propping open heavy doors with The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton returns with her third novel Birnam Wood, described as “a brilliant psychological thriller”.
Eleanor Catton’s debut novel The Rehearsal – written as her Master’s thesis – won the Betty Trask Award when it was published in 2008 and was longlisted for the Orange Prize; her second, The Luminaries, a historical epic about the New Zealand gold rush, became a global bestseller that was translated into 32 languages and adapted into a six-part television series for BBC2. She also wrote the screenplay for the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and, 10 years after propping open heavy doors with The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton returns with her third novel Birnam Wood, described as “a brilliant psychological thriller” that is again set in New Zealand (Catton was born in Canada and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand) and delves into many of the biggest themes of the day from climate change, land-grabbing and surveillance technology to power, corruption and the super-rich. The Guardian said: ‘Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton comes 10 years after The Luminaries and is worth the long wait. Full of wit, big ideas and the most beautiful writing, it’s the story of a group of guerrilla gardeners who clash with a billionaire prepper. I loved it.’
This special event is hosted by writer Kate Feld and presented in partnership with the Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester.
If you can’t wait, Manchester Literature Festival is also teaming up two distinctive authors and passionate readers Kit de Waal and Sebastian Barry on 7 March (7pm, Central Library, £10, £8 concessions). They’ll be discussing his new novel, Old God’s Time, described as a ‘powerful new tale of memory, love, mystery and reckoning’.
Here’s the cover blurb: ‘Recently retired policeman Tom Kettle is settling into the quiet of his new home, a Victorian castle overlooking the Irish Sea. For months he has barely seen a soul, catching only glimpses of his eccentric landlord and a nervous young mother who has moved in next door. But when two former colleagues turn up at his door with questions about a decades-old case, he finds himself pulled into the darkest currents of his past.’
One of Ireland’s finest storytellers, and the Laureate for Irish Fiction from 2018-2021, Sebastian Barry is the author of Days Without End, A Thousand Moons, A Long Long Way and The Secret Scripture, and twice winner of the Walter Scott Prize and the Costa Book of the Year. Kit de Waal is the author of the novels My Name is Leon and The Trick to Time and the memoir Without Warning and Only Sometimes.
To celebrate World Book Day on 2 March (online from 9am, free), the bestselling, multi award-winning children’s author and illustrator Rob Biddulph has created a a fun, interactive, online show based on his new book. The Blue-Footed Booby is ‘a rollicking new rhyming tale of missing cakes and baking shenanigans’ available for Greater Manchester schoolchildren to access until 31 March via the Manchester Literature Festival website.
Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions).
Manchester Literature Festival's Spring trio of events at Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, City Centre