The Essex Serpent wins Book of the Year

18th May 2017

Congratulations to Festival author, Sarah Perry, whose second novel, The Essex Serpent, won both the Fiction Award and Book of the Year at the British Book Awards last week.

The Essex Serpent is described as a gothic tale and ‘one of the most memorable historical novels of the past decade.’  Set in 1893 it follows a young widow, Cora Seaborne, to a dank wetlands village in Essex where a sea serpent is said to be terrorising villagers.  It is a love story, a thriller but also a fascinating social history of the period with vivid and brilliantly drawn characters.

Sarah adds this to her growing list of awards, including Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, and nominations for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Costa Book Awards Novel of the Year.

You can look forward to hearing Sarah Perry at the Festival on Sunday 11 June at 2pm.

Sold out events
A few more events have sold out in the past week:
Margaret Willes’ Gardens of the British Working Class, David Templeman on Mary, Queen of Scots, Slow Travel in the Peak District, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – and we’ve just heard that Dan Cruickshank has too.

We have been able to squeeze a few more seats around the tables at the Old Bell Hotel for the Derbyshire Noir Crime Writing event on Saturday 10 June, but there are only a handful of tickets left.

Try something new!
It’s great to discover something new, and our audience members often say that it’s the events they took a chance on that they enjoy the most!  Here are a few which may not have instantly jumped out at you.  Of course, we believe that all the events will be fascinating whatever your interests – just listening to an author speak with passion and enthusiasm about their work is a joy!

Here are a few more of this year’s gems:

Tony Garnett
His name may not be one of the most familiar ones in the programme, but his 60 year career as a film and TV producer has included working with some of the great directors of the past half century: Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Roland Joffé.  His work includes ground breaking programmes such as Cathy Come Home, Kes and Up the Junction.

Born in Birmingham, he lost both his parents when young: his mother died when he was five from the after effects of a back-street abortion, and his father committed suicide nineteen days later.   His biography, The Day the Music Died, is a fascinating memoir of post-war British TV and provides a vivid personal and social history.   We look forward to welcoming Tony to the Festival where he will be in conversation with QUAD CEO, Adam Buss.

Virago Press: Changing the World One Page at a Time
Virago Press is the outstanding international publisher of books by women and has just celebrated its 40th birthday.   If you missed the BBC4 documentary Changing the World One Page at a Time  last year, you can still catch up with it on You Tube.  Virago not only rediscovers classic women’s fiction but also publishes breathtaking new fiction.

We are delighted that Lennie Goodings, Virago Editor and one of the founders featured in the documentary, will be joining us in QUAD on Sunday 11 June at 4pm.  She will talk about Virago and will be in conversation with one of their fiction writers, Rachel Seiffert, whose new novel, A Boy in Winter, is set in a small Ukrainian town in 1941 and describes the impact of the German invasion when it was overrun by the SS.

Derby Book Festival

31 May – 8 June 2019

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