BOOKS / Events

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The Independent Culture
Cheltenham Festival of Literature: 40 visiting US and Canadian writers, inc Joseph Heller, Allen Ginsberg, Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Ondaatje; lectures by Margaret Atwood and Gore Vidal; Terry Waite on his ordeal (today, 9 pm); 94-year-old Frances Partridge on 'What makes a good diary?'; an interview with Alan Clark, this year's most scandalous diarist; Glenys Kinnock chairs a discussion on Virago's 20 years. Cheltenham Town Hall, until 17 Oct. Box Office: 0242-523690.

Michael Hofmann and Stephen Knight read from their new poetry collections. Royal Festival Hall, London SE1. 11 Oct, 7.30 pm, pounds 2.50 ( pounds 1.50 conc). 071-928 8800.

Victoria Glendinning and Peter Hennessy discuss their books Trollope and Never Again at Waterstones, Cambridge. 14 Oct, 7 pm.

John Ashbery reads his poetry (13 Oct, 6.30 pm) and Wendy Cope introduces her new children's anthology of funny verse (16 Oct,

12.30 pm) at Bernard Stone's Turret Bookshop, 36 Great Queen St, London WC2. 071-405-6058.

Jim Hewitson discusses his book Tam Blake, about the Scottish influence on American culture, 16 Oct, 10.30 am, Orkney Library, Laing St, Kirkwall, Orkney. 0856-873166 for details of this and other events in Scottish Book Fortnight.