Writers flock to Woodstock festival

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The Independent Culture

For royalists, William Shawcross will divulge colourful details from his long-anticipated biography of the Queen Mother; for those of a political bent, the Conservative leader David Cameron will outline his ambition for the next general election. Those hungry for old-style Hollywood glamour will be satiated with tales about Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire from Leslie Caron's autobiography.

The return of The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival next month after its inaugural success last year will aim to satisfy the most diverse of palates. Those who like being spooked can listen to a discussion between The Independent's John Walsh and the Booker-winning novelist Sarah Waters on her ghost story, The Little Stranger, while Tony Parsons will also give a talk on "dad lit". And The Independent's Middle East expert, Robert Fisk, will meditate on the fine art of reportage with fellow journalists Dame Ann Leslie and Martin Bell.

The festival will take place from 16 to 20 September at Woodstock and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. As well as a feast of books, talks and debates there will be a festival reception dinner at the grand Orangery in Blenheim Palace and a hearty literary pub quiz in the Woodstock Arms. For a complete listing of events visit the festival's website at www.woodstockliteraryfestival.com. To order a brochure or book a ticket, phone the box office on 01865 305 305.

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