Win tickets to see Paxman at Stratford lit fest

Jeremy Paxman

Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman is among the speakers at the Stratford Literary Festival

LAST UPDATED AT 13:03 ON Fri 13 Apr 2012

WITH all the talk of the London Olympics in Stratford, it would be easy to forget the other Stratford, which offers a refuge for non sporting fans. Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, is the venue for the annual Stratford Literary Festival which kicks off next weekend.
 
The 2012 festival (22 April – 7 May) offers visitors an opportunity to see some of their favourite authors discussing their work. Highlights include:
 
Jeremy Paxman. The Newsnight anchor and University Challenge quiz master, has a new book, Empire, based on his current BBC documentary series. He will discuss how the British Empire influenced the character of modern Britain.
 
Iain Banks. The Scottish author best known for his 1984 novel The Wasp Factory is also an acclaimed writer of science fiction under the name Iain M. Banks. He was named by The Times as one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945. His latest novel is Stonemouth.
 
Sue Townsend. The playwright and authior of the hugely popular Adrian Mole diaries will discuss her latest novel, The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, a comic deconstruction of marriage, divorce and modern family life.
 
P. D. James. The 91-year doyenne of the crime novel and Conservative life peer is best known for her Adam Dalgliesh mysteries. Her latest book, Death Comes to Pemberley, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder.   
 
Charles Moore. The former editor of The Daily Telegraph will host a discussion of the role of rectories in British literature, from the Brontes to whodunnits. Guests include P. D. James (above), foodie and rectory dweller Prue Leith, and the architectural historian Dr Simon Thurley.
 
Mackenzie Crook. The British actor from The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean is also the author-illustrator of The Windvale Sprites. He will host a reading for children.  
 
Other speakers include former poet laureate Andrew Motion, Scottish poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy, BBC Women’s Hour presenter and author Jenni Murray, and British poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage.   
 

  • To win a trip to the Stratford Literary Festival to see Jeremy Paxman speak, including overnight stay and dinner, enter The Week competition.

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