JK Rowling and Mantel jump in at Bath
Saturday 17 November 2012
Two stars of the literary world – JK Rowling and Hilary Mantel – have signed up to attend The Independent Bath Literature Festival in March.
“All the authors have to muck in and drink the same lukewarm white wine,” says artistic director James Runcie. “Whether they are first-time novelists or world famous writers, [they] get £150, which is the Society of Authors' recommended rate. We are a democracy here, but at some festivals authors speak to 11 people in exchange for a pack of biscuits. We try to treat all our novelists well.”
Harry Potter creator Rowling will talk about her new novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, while Mantel, who just won the Man Booker Prize for the second time for Bring Up the Bodies, her sequel to Wolf Hall, will talk about her work in progress, and the conclusion to her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. Other novelists at the festival will include Sandi Toksvig, Jim Crace, Helen Dunmore, PD James, Kate Mosse and Rachel Joyce.
Heated lunchtime debates tackling national and global issues will resume in Independent Voices, with topics including “Is it too late to save the planet?” and “How to report from the world's trouble spots without getting killed”. In one event, “The Wisdom of Psychopaths”, renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton will use the latest advances in brain scanning and neuroscience to show that there is a fine line separating a brilliant surgeon from a serial killer. Another event will explore what can be done to stop the “pornification” of women in our society and in the media. Mosse will chair a debate with Independent journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and sexual-health worker Ali Morris. Elsewhere retired ballerina Darcey Bussell joins a discussion on human anatomy.
“I'm interviewing Mantel and Rowling and giving a talk on Keats's last letters because often what people write at the end of their life makes you view their previous work entirely differently,” says Runcie. “In an age of increasing immediacy it's important to spend time discussing issues at length with people who know what they are talking about. This festival is more of a conversation than a spectacle.”
1-10 March 2013 (www.bathfestivals. org.uk)
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
Ukraine crisis: Helicopter gunships take country closer to all-out war
- 1 Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Graceless reaction of Jose Mourinho a sad effort to hide his own flaws
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers