Max Porter at the Martin Harris Centre

Part of our Literature guide

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Author Max Porter.
Author Max Porter. Photo by Lucy Dickens.

An Evening with Max Porter at Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama, Manchester, 11 March 2019, from £5 - Book now

His Ted Hughes-inspired debut Grief Is The Thing With Feathers was praised as ‘a luminous reading experience’ by the TLS and called ‘amazing and unforgettable’ in The Times. It saw former bookseller and Granta and Portobello books editor Max Porter named the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year in 2016 (ranking him alongside alumni such as Zadie Smith and Simon Armitage), and it won the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award. Also shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize, it has been translated into 27 languages and was described as ‘dazzlingly good’ by Sunday Times Bestseller Chart-topping Robert Macfarlane (he also rates Helen Mort’s upcoming debut novel Black Car Burning).

The rapture continues for Porter, acknowledged as being one of the rising stars of British literature, with his second novel, Lanny, out on 7 March with Faber & Faber and loved by the likes of Mark Haddon – ‘It takes a special kind of genius to create something which is both so strange and yet so compulsive’ – and Maggie Farrell – ‘Books this good don’t come along very often. It’s a novel like no other, an exhilarating, disquieting, joyous read.’

Reprising the magic realism of Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, along with its bitter-sweet flavour, Lanny, says the Manchester Literature Festival blurb, is ‘equally dark, funny, joyous and exhilarating’. Set in a village outside London, it captures the gossip, good will, mystery and eccentricity of the people who live there now and the people who lived there many moons ago, including Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber and is listening, watching and waiting for the return of the boy who gives his name to the title. Says Costa Prize winner Nathan Filer: ‘Think: Under Milk Wood meets Broadchurch.’

This event – a pre-cursor to the annual Manchester Literature Festival, back in October 2019 – sees Max read from the book and discuss his work with Luke Brown, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing and author of My Biggest Lie. Meanwhile, also in March, the acclaimed stage adaptation (Wayward Productions in association with Complicité) of Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, opens at the Barbican Theatre in London, starring Cillian Murphy.

Doors open 7pm, event starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 concessions, £7 full price.

An Evening with Max Porter at Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama, Manchester

11 March 2019
From £5

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA Manchester
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 20 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME
Festivals 11–26 January 2019,

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME

Exhibitions 12 January–1 February 2019, FREE

Motion Sickness at STOCK Gallery

The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–2 February 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth
Families 19 January–9 February 2019, FREE

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth