Luke Jennings, author of the Villanelle series (John Murray), and Adam Kucharski, author of The Rules of Contagion (Wellcome Collection), are among the names joining The Big Book Weekend virtual festival.
The event, co-founded by Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt with support from BBC Arts, will be broadcast across three days over the first bank holiday weekend in May.
It forms part of the BBC's Culture In Quarantine initiative, bringing arts and culture to the homes of everyone in the UK at a time of lockdown.
As part of the event, Jennings will be in conversation with Sarah Hilary about what drove him to create a female-centred thriller that shook up the genre and led to global TV hit “Killing Eve”.
Kucharski, an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will talk to Tim Hubbard about what the world is experiencing now, and how new mathematical approaches are transforming what we know about contagion in all its forms.
Elsewhere, Adjoa Andoh, Jackie Kay and Isabel Greenberg will be in conversation with Cathy Newman to mark the 200th anniversary of Anne Brontë’s birth.
The full line-up will be revealed at the end of the month and the festival, starting on 8th May, will also feature online interviews with authors and film adaptations of books.
Lamia Dabboussy, editor of BBC Arts, said: “through our Culture In Quarantine initiative, we have demonstrated that national lockdown need not be a barrier for people experiencing the very best arts and culture. While a virtual festival can never replace the experience of attending a festival in real life, we are delighted that Kit and Molly brought their idea to us, their Book Weekend means that we can support festivals that have been cancelled, while bringing the nation together through a shared love of reading.”
Flatt added: “it has been an absolute pleasure working with so many of the brilliant book festivals up and down the country, and ensuring at least some of the events they had put together reach an audience. These three events are just a taster of the full line-up to come, and I can’t wait to reveal everything we have in store at the end of the month.”