Daunt Books in Marylebone is holding its first literary festival on 27th to 28th March.
Authors attending will include Claire Tomalin, Tracy Chevalier, Adam Foulds, Rebecca Hunt and Evie Wyld. Children’s writers Michael Morpurgo and Emma Chichester Clark will also be among the speakers.
Most events are £5 and include complimentary treats provided by supportive businesses nearby, such as The Ginger Pig and The Natural Kitchen. The children’s events will be held free of charge.
While the bookshop mini-chain has held evening events in the past, this is the first time it has held a literary festival which will span two days. Organiser Emily Rhodes, who is manager at Daunt in Bellsize Park, said: “Talks range from young novelists reading from their work, to a discussion on what the Bloomsbury Group fed each other, from the merits of psychoanalysis to the charm of short stories, and not forgetting our walking book club, which will be discussing a classic novel while strolling around Regent’s Park.”
For customers working on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th, Rhodes said “we encourage people to sneak out of the office for our 45-minute lunch-break talks and eat a sandwich while digesting some food for thought.”
Students from the Royal Academy of Music will perform during the literary festival and nearby restaurant Hardy’s Brasserie is concocting special pre and post-festival dinner menus for attendees, themed to match the evening talks.
Rhodes said Daunt’s first literary festival was driven by the wish to demonstrate that, “in the face of online competition, this bookshop has never been a more inspiring place.” She added: “I thought more and more about what a bookshop is that a website isn’t and one thing our events do is bring people together, a group of book lovers to talk about books. It seems that having a physical place to congregate really helps. We are a physical shop and in the face of Amazon and independent bookshop closing down, it seems right to capitalise on this.”
A whole festival pass costs £30.