Shafak, Sanghera and Tóibín to headline MarlboroughLit Fest

Shafak, Sanghera and Tóibín to headline MarlboroughLit Fest

Elif Shafak, Sathnam Sanghera and Colm Tóibín are among the authors headlining Marlborough LitFest, taking place this autumn as a hybrid event.

The annual festival will be held from 30th September to 3rd October, hosting online and live events for different ages across fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and will feature its Big Town Read: a book suggested for local reading groups and individuals ahead of the author appearing at the LitFest.

Shafak has been announced as the festival's 10th Golding Speaker, and will be talking about her new novel, The Island of Missing Trees (Penguin Books). The annual speaker is chosen to highlight the town’s long connection with the Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize-winner William Golding; last year the scheme featured Bernardine Evaristo.

Elsewhere, Irish writer Tóibín will discuss his latest book The Magician (Penguin Books), while journalist, broadcaster and previous LitFest Big Town Read author Sanghera will discuss identity and the imperial past of modern Britain in his book Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain (Viking).

The annual Hiscox Debut Authors slot will champion Natasha Brown with her novel Assembly (Hamish Hamilton) and Hafsa Zayyan with We Are All Birds of Uganda (Cornerstone). 

Also featuring is Mick Herron, Jonathan Porritt and local author Gill Hornby. A series of pre-recorded readings, delivered by actor Simon Russell Beale, will also be broadcast. 

Dr Alison Baverstock, professor of publishing at Kingston University, will lead a workshop on ‘getting published’, while bookbinder Lori Sauer will offer insight into her craft. Open-mic poetry events will take place at The Green Dragon pub, open to poets of any age. 

Commenting on the line-up, Marlborough LitFest chair Genevieve Clarke said: “It’s brilliant to be back with an exciting line-up of big literary names, first-time novelists, hard-hitting non-fiction, workshops and children’s activities. We’re also making 13 events available online so that we can reach a wider audience.”

The box office will open on 2nd September, with a programme detailing times and dates expected to be released later this month.