Bestsellers confirmed for LitFest 2018

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Marlborough LitFest is delighted to announce that bestselling military historian Max Hastings, author and ex-MP Alan Johnson, and travel writer Lois Pryce will be joining 2018 Golding Speaker, Rose Tremain, at this year’s ninth Festival from 28 – 30 September. The complete programme will be available in July, when the Box Office opens.

Max Hastings

Acclaimed war and military historian, Max Hastings, spent his early career as a correspondent, reporting on the 1982 Falklands War. His latest book (published in September 2018), chronicles one of the most devastating international conflicts of the 20th century and how its people were affected. Hastings spent three years interviewing participants on both sides of the conflict, blending political and military narrative with personal experiences from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, as well as researching American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of King’s College London, Hastings was knighted in 2002.

Lois Pryce

Inspired by a mysterious note left on her motorcycle outside the Iranian Embassy from a stranger asking her to visit his country, journalist and travel writer Lois Pryce embarked on a solo 3,000-mile motorbike ride across Iran in 2013, despite UK-Iran tensions running high at the time. Determined to discover the real, contemporary Iran, along the way she met carpet sellers and drug addicts, war veterans and housewives, doctors and teachers – people living ordinary lives under the rule of an extraordinarily strict Islamic government. Revolutionary Ride: On the Road in Search of the Real Iran is Lois’ third book documenting her travels in Iran and was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Adventure Travel Book of the Year Award. Lois was named by the Telegraph as one of the 10 Great Female Travellers.

Alan Johnson

Ex-MP Alan Johnson’s latest book In My Life: A Music Memoir, is the fourth instalment in his memoirs, telling the story of his life through the music which has inspired him, from West London in the late 1950s to working as a postman humming Elvis Costello in the 1970s. He vividly evokes a world of jukeboxes, of heartfelt love songs and heart-broken ballads, of smoky coffee shops and dingy dance halls. Johnson held a number of Labour Cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments including serving as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010 and retired from politics in 2017. His previous books have won the RLS Ondaatje Prize, the Orwell Prize and the National Book Award for Best Biography of the Year Author.


Jan Williamson, Chair of the Marlborough LitFest said: “We’re very excited to welcome these three great writers to talk about war, travel and memoir. Together, they reflect the diversity and strength of this year’s programme.”

The 2018 programme will include a variety of speakers throughout the festival weekend, featuring new and young fiction writers as well as established names, children’s authors, workshops and poetry events, as part of the Festival’s intention to bring the best of good writing to the town of Marlborough.