The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival has announced the line-up for its digital and physical programme this October, guest curated by Elif Shafak and Dishoom’s Shamil Thakrar.
Running from 2nd to 11th October, the world's oldest literature festival will be live streamed for the first time and run a combination of digital and in-person events with writers, thinkers, performers and new voices.
There will be over 160 events with more than 100 broadcast live from Cheltenham’s Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre in front of a socially distanced live audience.
Novelists on the bill include Nick Hornby on his first novel in six years, Just Like You (Viking), Andrew O’Hagan with Mayflies (Faber), and John Lanchester giving a taster of his upcoming story collection Reality and Other Stories (Faber). Breakout debut author Naoise Dolan will reflect on the success of Exciting Times (W&N).
There are also appearances from writers including Dolly Alderton, D B C Pierre and Victoria Hislop with pre-recorded talks from Kiley Reid, Ann Patchett and Elizabeth Strout, alongside Edna O’Brien who will receive this year’s Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence.
A partnership with Audible and Jacaranda will be showcasing authors including Tolu Agbelusi, Njambi McGrath and Shola Von Reinhold. There will also be a series of exclusive interviews with leading writers filmed at home entitled The World is Waiting. Those taking part include Marilynne Robinson, Sayaka Murata, Tayari Jones, Akwaeke Emezi and Tara June Winch.
Elsewhere, there will be events with Malcolm Gladwell, Caitlin Moran, Nikesh Shukla, Rupert Everett and Jess Phillips.
New for 2020, the festival will present The Citizen’s Manifesto, bringing together young activists, politicians and key thinkers with the Festival audience to shine a political, social, economic and cultural light on the strange year 2020 has been.
Virtual visitors can explore Cheltenham’s Festival site on interacting with speakers, browsing the bookshop, and taking part in activities for book-lovers of all ages. Tickets go on sale online initially to Cheltenham Festivals gold members from 10am on 16th September.