BBC's George Alagiah to give annual Noirwich Lecture

BBC's George Alagiah to give annual Noirwich Lecture

BBC News newsreader and debut novelist George Alagiah will give the annual Noirwich Lecture in anticipation of his forthcoming crime novel The Burning Land (Canongate).

The longtime news presenter will “explore violence, greed and corruption” in relation to the novel at the event at the University of East Anglia on 13th September, according to the lecture website. “Reflecting on the urgent, real-life impact of environmental change on some of the world’s poorest countries and the fight for resources, he will also discuss the subsequent rise in radical action.”

Alagiah’s lecture will draw on his career at the BBC of more than 30 years. As the current presenter of the BBC “News at Six” and previously as an award-winning BBC Foreign Correspondent he has covered genocide in Rwanda, civil wars in Afghanistan and Liberia, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and the 9/11 terror attacks. In 2008 he was awarded the OBE for services to journalism. 

The Burning Land (Canongate) is George Alagiah’s first work of fiction, as reported in January, and sees him delve into the spaces between the despatches he has brought to the nation as a reporter. Publication is scheduled for 5th September 2019. 

The novel is set in contemporary South Africa, where the international fight for ownership of the country’s land has turned the nation into a powder keg, the synopsis reads. It follows the murder of Lesedi Motlantshe – one of the nation’s so-called Children of the Future. As the hunt for Lesedi’s killer intensifies, former childhood friends Lindi Seaton and Kagiso Rapabane come together to try to protect the land, as events spiral further out of their control.

The lecture will take place in Norwich, as part of the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, which is coordinated by the National Centre for Writing, a writers’ development agency, and the University of East Anglia. Author Val McDermid gave last year’s lecture.