Jarvis Cocker, Lionel Shriver and Claire Tomalin to headline Southbank's London Literature Festival

 

Jarvis Cocker might seem an unlikely contender to headline a literature festival, but it seems the former Pulp frontman really does have a thirst for knowledge.

He will be addressing an audience at the Southbank London Literature Festival this summer about what fame means to him, and how he lives with being a very uncommon person.

Also headlining the festival are literary heavyweights Lionel Shriver, who will be discussing her new novel Big Brother; Claire Tomalin, who will be giving five special lectures celebrating the art of biography; and Audrey Niffenegger, who is to introduce her latest novel The Raven Girl.

In addition, William Dalrymple will give a talk about the First Afghan War; Rupert Everett will divulge secrets from his memoir, and Orange Prize winner Barbara Kingsolver will discuss class, poverty and climate change in relation to her new novel Flight Behaviour.

The six shortlisted authors for The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013, formerly The Orange Prize, will read and discuss their work; and the ten nominees in contention for this year’s Man Booker Prize will open the London Literature Festival- the largest of its kind that the Southbank has hosted.

Poetry will also be honoured at the festival, with a back-to-back reading of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, her last collection of poems left at her death, and a one-on-one poetry reading with Ryan Van Winkle in A Room for London, the boat installed above the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

James Runcie, head of literature and spoken word at The Southbank Centre, said: “The London Literature Festival is a series of conversations, debates and inter-actions where the audience should always feel welcome and where everyone has their own part to play.

“Our aim is to invite the most interesting writers and speakers we know and then ask people to join them in a series of events that ask who we are and what it means to be alive.”

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