Big Town Read 2015 – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
In partnership with The Reading Agency and World Book Night, we are pleased to announce another ‘Big Town Read’ will take place during the 2015 LitFest (2-4 October) with bestselling author, Rachel Joyce.
Following in the successful footsteps of previous Big Town Read authors at the LitFest (Sathnam Sanghera and Jackie Kay), Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry has been chosen from this year’s World Book Night list to be the LitFest’s ‘Big Town Read’ for 2015. We are encouraging local book groups and individuals to read Rachel’s book in advance of her appearance at the LitFest in October so that the audience can discuss it in a Q&A session with the author. Rachel will be appearing at the LitFest on Saturday 3 October at 6pm.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry has been an international bestseller for Rachel Joyce and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize as well as being translated into 34 languages.
We are thrilled to be working with The Reading Agency once again for The Big Town Read and we are excited to have such an acclaimed author on board. Our Big Town Read is now a firm fixture in the LitFest calendar.
Other confirmed authors for this year’s LitFest include an exciting roll-call of established writers and emerging new talent, including award-winning novelist and poet, Helen Dunmore, historical biographer and novelist Alison Weir, as well as the broadcaster and journalist, Bidisha. The programme is currently being put together and will include a diverse selection of speakers throughout the festival weekend, featuring children’s authors, workshops, new and young fiction writers and poetry events.
World Book Night 23 April 2015
World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books run by The Reading Agency – the charity with a mission to give everyone an equal chance to become a reader. Every year on 23 April, volunteers give hundreds of thousands of books away in their communities to share their love of reading and encourage those people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.
In 2014, 250,000 books from a list of 20 specially chosen titles were given away on World Book Night. According to The Reading Agency, 35% of people in the UK do not read regularly despite reading for pleasure being a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues from poverty to mental health. People are also invited to become a Community Book Giver and give a book of their own, bought specially or taken from their shelves, to someone who doesn’t read regularly.