First Authors Named for Marlborough LitFest 2016

Monday, April 4th, 2016


After record attendance figures in 2015, the first confirmed authors for Marlborough LitFest 2016 have been announced, including one of Britain’s best­loved authors, Michael Morpurgo, author and historian Tom Holland and bestselling international crime writer, Peter James. Other authors include Sally Nicholls, Jessie Burton, Ben Rawlence, Harry Parker and Guy Burgess biographer, Andrew Lownie for the weekend of 30 September – 2 October, 2016.

The programme is still being put together but in its seventh year Marlborough LitFest will offer a mix of fiction, non­-fiction, new and young emerging authors, poetry and children’s events as well as a programme to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. LitFest aims to bring the best of writing, both new and established, to Marlborough.

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo needs little introduction; the much loved, bestselling author will be talking about his latest novel, An Eagle in the Snow. Based on the true story of a soldier who could have stopped World War II, it explores themes close to the author’s heart of War, Journeys, Legends and Animals.

Crime author Peter James had his first thriller published in 1981 and was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s highest honour, the CWA Diamond Dagger, in 2016. Renowned for his hugely successful Roy Grace murder mystery crime novel series, for which James spends much time shadowing his local police force to gain authenticity, James is known as ‘King of the police procedural’ by chair of the CWA. James has also had a prolific career over the years in playwriting, screenwriting and producing movies.

Tom Holland, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson ©

Tom Holland, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson ©

Classical scholar turned author Tom Holland adds to his non­fiction Roman repertoire with Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar, charting the history of the reign of the first five Roman emperors in unsparing detail.

Since 2010, Ben Rawlence has spent lengthy periods living in one of the world’s largest refugee camps on Kenya’s border with Somalia – Dadaab. City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp tells the story of the camp through the lives of nine individual refugees and their families. A timely look at issues central to the current topic surrounding European migration and refugees.

Harry Parker grew up in Wiltshire and served in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009, ultimately losing both his legs to an IED whilst on patrol in Afghanistan. His debut novel, Anatomy of a Soldier, tells of a soldier’s journey of survival through trauma and recovery after losing both his legs; the narrative is given through a series of objects around him.

Prize­winning children’s author Sally Nicholls will be talking to St John’s students about her novels which include Wrote Ways to Live Forever, Season of Secrets, All Fall Down, Close Your Pretty Eyes and An Island of Our Own. A new biography of Guy Burgess comes from Andrew Lownie, himself a literary agent, called Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess.

Jessie Burton (Photo credit Harry Borden)

Jessie Burton (Photo credit Harry Borden)

Jessie Burton has sold over a million copies of her debut novel, The Miniaturist, since it was published in 2014; it has been translated into 35 languages. Jessie’s latest novel, The Muse, will be published in June 2016 and is set in civil war Spain and 1960s London, focusing on four heroines and a long­lost painting which connects them together.

Jan Williamson, Chair of the Marlborough LitFest said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming these authors to Marlborough in September. We have an exciting programme taking shape and more names to be confirmed in the coming weeks.”

The Marlborough LitFest committee would like to thank its Founder Sponsor ALCS Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, lead sponsor Brewin Dolphin and events sponsors Hiscox Insurance, and Duncan Morris Solicitors for their continued support.