Shafak and Evaristo to headline Manchester Literature Festival

Shafak and Evaristo to headline Manchester Literature Festival

Elif Shafak and Bernardine Evaristo are among a roster of authors confirmed for the Manchester Literature Festival 2021, which is taking place as an in-person event in October.

Evaristo will celebrate a landmark new series she curated for Hamish Hamilton, Black Britain: Writing Back, which reintroduces lost or hard-to-find books by Black writers who wrote about Black Britain and the diaspora across the 20th century. Joining Evaristo on stage are Jacqueline Roy, Judith Bryan and Nicola Williams.

Shafak will appear in conversation about her new novel, The Island of Missing Trees (Penguin), and the importance of love, nature, words and storytelling.

Anita Sethi will feature at an in-conversation event, discussing her debut book I Belong Here (Bloomsbury) and exploring the importance of walking as an act of defiance and hope, the devastating effects of racism, bullying and PTSD, and the role nature and wildness can play in wellbeing.

They are joined on the bill by Lemn Sissay, in conversation with Rachel Holmes about her epic biography of Sylvia Pankhurst, along with appearances by Colm Tóibín, Monique Roffey, Ingrid Persaud and Jeanette Winterson. Former Labour politician and Home Secretary Alan Johnson will be appearing at the festival to talk about his debut novel, The Late Train to Gipsy Hill (Headline).

To celebrate Granta’s new anthology, The Best of Young Spanish Language Novelists, editor Valerie Miles, authors Mateo García Elizondo and Cristina Morales  will discuss Spanish-language writing with host Mariana Casale.

Elsewhere there are writers and musicians including Paul Morley in conversation with LoneLady, Bobby Gillespie, Tracey Thorn and Andrew O’Hagan, alongside three of Vintage’s contemporary poets: Leo Boix, Kayo Chingonyi and Andrew McMillan, reading from their new collections.

A digital festival is planned for November 2021 with full details announced shortly. Full details of the festival can be viewed here.