Events at Derby Book Festival 2018


Full details of all our Festival events are listed.

Events on

Thursday 12th April

Derby Reads – Launch of the Derby Book Festival 2018 Programme 6 for 6.30 - 8pm - Thursday 12 April
FREE, but ticketed
QUAD, DE1 3AS

Our annual Derby Reads event celebrates the launch of the 2018 Derby Book Festival programme and we will announce the winners of our 50 word Flash Fiction writing competition. The Festival Box Office at QUAD also opens. Based on the traditional Victorian Penny Readings popularised by Charles Dickens, the evening offers a selection of taster readings from books which will feature in this year’s Festival. Join us for a preview of this year’s events and activities, pick up a Festival brochure and a set of the Festival’s bookmarks containing the winning 50 word stories on the theme of ‘If Only’.

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Events on

Tuesday 8th May

Derby Book Festival Taster Event 6.30pm for 7 – 8.30pm (refreshments served on arrival)
FREE but ticketed
Repton School, DE65 6FH

Find out more about the fourth Derby Book Festival at our Taster Event at Repton School. Debut author Jo Jakeman will talk about her first novel, a dark thriller entitled Sticks and Stones and Young Adult author, Dan Walker will read from his latest Sky Thieves adventure. Catharine Arnold will talk about her book Pandemic 1918, which traces the course of the deadly Spanish Flu. The event is free, but ticketed. Book your tickets online.

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Events on

Friday 1st June

Ken Clarke in conversation with Alan Johnson 7:45pm - 9:00pm - Friday 1 June
£15
Derby Theatre, DE1 2NF

Between them Ken Clarke and Alan Johnson have over 60 years’ experience as MPs. On opposite sides of the political divide they have both earned respect for their principled, but not always popular, views on issues of the day. Having served as the MP for Rushcliffe for 46 years and the MP with the longest continuous service, Ken Clarke is the current Father of the House.  In 2017 he published his biography, A Kind of Blue, which charts his remarkable progress from working-class scholarship boy at Nottingham High School to high political office and the upper echelons of both his party and of government. Alan Johnson visited the Festival in 2017 to talk about his third memoir, The Long and Winding Road. He publishes his first novel in 2019. Both Ken and Alan are music lovers and the event will include a performance by Derby Jazz featuring some of Ken’s favourite music.

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The Secret Life of Cows - Rosamund Young 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Friday 1 June

A Sunday Times bestseller championed by Alan Bennett, this charming, gorgeously illustrated book shows the domestic cow in an entirely different light. Cows are as varied as people. They can be highly intelligent or slow to understand, vain, considerate, proud, shy or inventive. Although much of a cow’s day is spent eating, they always find time for extra-curricular activities such as babysitting, playing hide and seek, blackberry-picking or fighting a tree. This is an affectionate record of a hitherto secret world by Rosamund Young, who runs Kite’s Nest Farm with her family, where the cows roam free and decide where they graze and shelter.

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Joanna Cannon – Three Things about Elsie 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Friday 1 June

Joanna Cannon’s debut novel, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, was the best-selling debut novel in paperback in 2017. Her second Three Things About Elsie tells the story of lifelong friends Florence and Elsie and explores memory, old age, and the echo we leave in the world. It has been longlisted for the 2018 Women’s Prize.

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Debut author Jo Jakeman 6:00pm - 7:00pm - Friday 1 June

Jo Jakeman, this year’s debut author, is home grown Derby talent. As one of our volunteers she was inspired by Joanna Cannon, whose writing career started after winning the York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Award. Jo went on to enter – and won, leading to her own publishing deal. Sticks and Stones is a deliciously dark and twisting psychological thriller. Imogen’s manipulative ex has given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son. In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable … something that puts her in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband?

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Events on

Saturday 2nd June

Stephen McGann: Flesh and Blood 11:30am - 12:30pm - Saturday 2 June
£10/£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

The acclaimed actor and brilliant storyteller Stephen McGann currently stars in the BBC phenomenon Call the Midwife. Fascinated with medicine, Stephen undertook a Master of Science degree. This event pairs his love of medicine, his passion for genealogy and his wonderfully engaging storytelling as he discusses his first book, Flesh and Blood. Telling the story of the McGann family through seven sicknesses - diseases, wounds or ailments that have afflicted Stephen’s relatives over the last century and a half- he uncovers how our past shapes us. A truly fascinating study exploring what motivates human beings to do the things they do. "I dug my ancestors out of the ground. I resurrected them. The McGanns were lost in those public records, and now they’re not." Stephen McGann

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James Hamilton: Gainsborough: A Portrait 12noon - 1:00pm - Saturday 2 June
£8.50
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, DE1 1BS

Thomas Gainsborough lived as if electricity shot through his sinews and crackled at his finger ends. James Hamilton reveals Gainsborough in his many contexts: the easy-going Suffolk lad, transported to the heights of fashion by a natural talent; a gentle and empathetic family man, whose volatility could lead him to slash his paintings; the rake-on-the-make in London; the charming and amusing friend of royalty; the top society-portrait painter in Bath and London who earned huge sums by bringing the right people into his studio. James Hamilton’s Gainsborough: A Portrait transforms our understanding of this fascinating man and the century that bore him. "Derby Museum and Art Gallery changed my life in the 1950s. It was there, aged 8 or 9, that I first experienced a room full of great paintings, the works of Joseph Wright. They opened my eyes, and set me on my way as an art historian, curator and writer. It is a blessing for Derby and the region that they remain on display in the Art Gallery, where they continue to enthral and inspire." (James Hamilton)

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The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock 1:30pm - 2:30pm - Saturday 2 June
£8/£6
QUAD, DE1 3AS

Picked as a ‘Most Anticipated Book Of 2018’ by The Observer, The Sunday Times and Vogue, Imogen Hermes Gowar’s spellbinding debut novel was bought for six figures in a 10 publisher bidding war. It combines curiosity, love and obsession in Georgian London. It has been longlisted for the 2018 Women’s Prize. September 1785. The merchant Jonah Hancock learns that his captain has sold Jonah’s ship and goods for what appears to be a mermaid. As gossip spreads, everyone wants to see Jonah’s marvel. Suddenly, this very ordinary merchant finds himself catapulted into a glittering world of opulence and wealth. At a lavish party he meets Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on … and London’s most celebrated courtesan. Their meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.

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Lionel Shriver 5:00pm - 6:00pm - Saturday 2 June
£18 (includes a free copy of her new book Property, RRP. £14.99)
QUAD, DE1 3AS

One of the most acclaimed authors of our age, the ever provocative Lionel Shriver will join us to discuss her extraordinary short story collection. Comprising of ten short stories and two novellas that explore the idea of property in every meaning of the word: the homes we live in and the ‘stuff’ we acquire. Her new collection intermingles settings in America and Britain illustrating how our possessions act as proxies for ourselves, and how tussles over ownership articulate the power dynamics of our relationships. In Lionel Shriver’s world, we may possess people and objects and places, but in turn they possess us.

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Andy Kershaw 7:30pm - 9:15pm - Saturday 2 June
£12.75/£10.75
Guildhall Theatre/Derby LIVE, DE1 3AH

Join us for a fascinating and hilarious evening with DJ and Journalist Andy Kershaw. Based on his autobiography, No Off Switch, Andy’s one-man show takes us on a fast-paced journey through his life: from his days at Radio 1 and the forefront of Rock & Roll to the front lines of some of the world’s most extreme and dangerous countries. “Sensational. Wildly hilarious” (Stephen Fry) A £1.25 booking fee is added when buying in person and on the phone.

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Criminal Constructions with Stephen Booth, Roz Watkins & Stuart Gibbon 11am - 12 noon - Saturday 2 June

Three experts in crime writing share their secrets about how they devise their plots, find their locations and make sure they understand and follow the law! Best-selling, award winning crime writer Stephen Booth, whose Cooper and Fry novels are based in the Peak District, will chair a lively discussion which will fascinate both crime novel readers and budding crime writers. The panel includes debut novelist, Roz Watkins, whose first book in a series set in the Peak District, The Devil’s Dice was published in March and former senior police detective Stuart Gibbon, who has recently co-authored The Crime Writers’ Casebook, an essential reference guide to police and criminal procedures

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Sathnam Sanghera 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Saturday 2 June

Sathnam Sanghera is an author who refuses to fit the mould: an award-winning journalist, a celebrated memoir writer and an acclaimed novelist. Growing up in Wolverhampton, his novels explore the multicultural Midlands with great style, warmth and humour. He’ll be discussing his life and literary work and giving us an insight into his unique perspective. Sathnam’s first book, the beautiful memoir, The Boy With The Topknot, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and named Mind Book of the Year. In 2017 it was adapted for BBC2, airing to huge success and critical acclaim. His novel, Marriage Material, was shortlisted for a South Bank Sky Arts Award, and the Costa Book Award. “I absolutely loved it. Heartbreaking and wonderful. He writes beautifully.” Maggie O’Farrell on The Boy With The Topknot

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Literary Friction with Jon McGregor 7:00pm - 8:00pm - Saturday 2 June

We’re delighted to host the first ever episode of the internationally acclaimed podcast, Literary Friction, to be recorded at a Festival. Hosts and friends, Octavia and Carrie discuss books and ideas with some of the hottest authors on the literary scene. Tonight they’ll be joined by the acclaimed Jon McGregor to discuss his novel Reservoir 13, the 2017 Costa Novel Award Winner. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 centres on the disappearance of a teenage girl: it explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuses to subside. “A rare and dazzling feat of art.” George Saunders, 2017 Booker Prize winner

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Salena Godden with Derby Poetry Festival 8:30pm - 9:30pm - Saturday 2 June

In collaboration with Derby Poetry Festival we present an exhilarating evening of performance poetry, headlined by the phenomenal Salena Godden. Local lad and Derby Poetry Festival Co-founder Jamie Thravisoulou comperes this night of raucous spoken word and live music which opens with brand new commissions from three of the East Midlands’ finest up-and-coming poets: Leanne Moden, Saraa Rain and Chris McLoughlin. Salena Godden is one of the UK’s foremost poets, regularly anthologised and headlining festivals nationally and internationally. A BBC regular, Salena Godden has written and presented several arts and music programmes. Her essay Shade was published in 2016’s literary sensation The Good Immigrant, which won the Reader’s Choice Book Of The Year Award.

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Events on

Sunday 3rd June

Join us for a Sunday of lively debate, author talks and arts events as Derby Book Festival takes over Déda. Kicking off with the Sunday Papers, the day culminates with the annual Festival Book Quiz in CUBE café. We’ve also teamed up with Unbound, the ground-breaking, crowd-funding publisher to introduce their innovative approach to publishing - and also some of their finest authors. Be prepared to take a chance on this one – it will open your eyes and mind! There’ll be lively discussions about issues ranging from disability to the environment.

Come join us for the day at Déda with our special Sunday Takeover Ticket Offer. Book two tickets and get 5% discount, book three tickets and get 10% discount, or book four or more tickets to get 15% off any of our Sunday Takeover events at Déda! Please note that the Festival Book Quiz is not included in this discount offer.

Roy Hattersley - The Catholics 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Sunday 3 June
£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

Roy Hattersley, former MP and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party will be in conversation with Professor Kath Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby. Roy’s father was a former Roman Catholic priest, who left the priesthood to marry Roy’s mother. He died (in 1973) an atheist. Roy’s latest book, The Catholics: The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day takes us through the 300 years following the Act of Supremacy, making Henry VIII head of the Church and breaking with Rome. It focuses on individual Catholics who were prosecuted, persecuted and penalised for the public expression of their faith.

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Kate Mosse - The Burning Chambers 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Sunday 3 June
£10
QUAD, DE1 3AS

International bestselling author Kate Mosse refuses to be categorised, writing award-winning fiction, non-fiction and plays. Working across genres, from historic novels to the gothic thriller, Kate is probably most famous for her extraordinary Languedoc Trilogy: Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel. A prominent commentator and campaigner, Kate co-founded and chairs the Board of the Women’s Prize for Fiction: the award has championed female-led writing over the last 20 years, changing the shape of publishing culture. Her latest book returns to the Languedoc and The Burning Chambers is the first in an epic historical fiction series set against the backdrop of three hundred years of Huguenot history, taking the reader from France to Southern Africa.   Bringing 16th century Languedoc vividly to life, The Burning Chambers is a gripping story of love and betrayal, mysteries and secrets, of war and adventure, conspiracies and divided loyalties.

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Terry Waite 7:00pm - 8:00pm - Sunday 3 June
£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

Terry Waite is an English humanitarian and author. In Solitude, his multi-layered and fascinating new book, Waite travels around the world to explore what solitude means. As a hostage in Beirut from 1987-1991, he spent 1,763 days in captivity, nearly 4 years of which was in solitary confinement. Today, strangers still come up to ask him how he coped when living in isolation for so long. Solitude reflects on his experience and sees Terry meets others who live in solitude – voluntarily or involuntarily - to explore the challenges, riches, joys and sorrows of the solitary life.

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Sunday Papers 10:00am - 11:00am - Sunday 3 June

Kick off your Sunday with a relaxed look at the Sunday news as national journalists, Ian Woods (Senior Correspondent at Sky News) and Katy Guest (former Literary Editor at The Independent on Sunday) discuss the headlines. We’ll mull over the hot topics with a warm cuppa and pastries - the perfect start to your Sunday of events.

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Dance4 Sunday Supplement 11:00am - 12:00pm - Sunday 3 June

We’re teaming up with Dance4 to present a special edition of their celebrated Sunday Supplement series, join East Midlands based dance artist Danni Spooner for an informal sharing of her current work based around gender identity, followed by a discussion about books that have informed her research over coffee and croissants.

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On Death Row: Ian Woods 11:30am - 12:30pm - Sunday 3 June

Imagine being condemned to death for murder, when even the prosecutors admit that you didn't actually kill anyone. This is what happened to Richard Glossip, a death-row inmate who was found guilty of murdering motel owner, Barry van Treese. Despite being convicted on the word of the actual self-confessed killer, the state of Oklahoma is still intent on executing him, raising international outcry and controversy. Ian Woods, a reporter for Sky News and former BBC East Midlands presenter, has tirelessly campaigned to bring the injustices Glossip has faced to the world's attention. He even served as an invited witness to Glossip's three scheduled executions - all of which were stayed at the last possible moment. Surviving Execution is the gripping true story of the case, written by a man with unparalleled first-hand knowledge and access. He will be in conversation with his former colleague (and editor of the Derby Telegraph), Neil White.

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Penny Pepper: First in The World Somewhere 12:30pm - 1:30pm - Sunday 3 June

A genre-defying and versatile writer, Penny Pepper’s work is a mixture of the quirky and the lewd, with a focus on examination of difference and identity. Her memoir, First in The World Somewhere, charts her early years in London as a young, passionate punky poet, singer and disability activist. Penny regularly appears on Newsnight, Sky News, and the BBC as well as writing for columns for The Guardian.

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Lev Parikian: Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear 1:00pm - 2:00pm - Sunday 3 June

A lapsed and hopeless birdwatcher’s attempt to see 200 birds in a year, meet the very funny Lev Parikian: “As a 12-year-old, I was an avid birdwatcher. I was also a fraud, a liar and a cheat. Those lists of birds seen, ticked off like Don Juan’s conquests? A tissue of lies. Early this year, I decided to right my childhood wrongs, even though they were born of good intentions. I would go birdwatching again. I would keep track of the birds I saw. I would not lie.”

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Mary Horlock: Joseph Gray’s Camouflage 2:30pm - 3:30pm - Sunday 3 June

A memoir of the artist and camouflage pioneer spanning two world wars. Joseph Gray’s Camouflage is a book about love and war, and the deceptions they inspire: 'Joseph Gray was my great grandfather. He was an artist and a soldier, but I’ve come to wonder if his greatest accomplishment was what and how he hid. During the Second World War he found a new creative outlet, the art of camouflage. Not only did my great grandfather use his art to find fresh purpose in wartime, but it allowed him to lead a double life. He disappeared from the family he’d already created when he fell in love with another woman. He wrote at the time: "I cannot camouflage what I feel", and yet he did, constantly.' A former Curator at Tate Britain, Mary Horlock’s first novel, The Book of Lies, was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award.

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Tom Cox: 21st Century Yokel 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Sunday 3 June

The Sunday Times’ best-selling author, Tom Cox has written a deeply engaging and hilarious nature memoir about being a 21st century yokel.  Described as 'a nature book, but not quite like any you will have read before', it was crowdfunded in a record-breaking seven hours! Born in Nottingham, he describes Derbyshire as 'the landscape of his childhood.' (The Guardian).

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Kevin Ruane - Churchill and the Bomb 5:00pm - 6:00pm - Sunday 3 June

The national – and indeed international - appetite for ‘Churchilliana’ continues unabated, not least with the success of the movie Darkest Hour and Gary Oldman’s award-winning portrayal of the iconic wartime leader. After watching the movie, Donald Trump has put the Cabinet War Rooms in London, Churchill’s wartime nerve-centre, on his itinerary for his 2018 UK visit! Less well known is Churchill’s fascination with science, nuclear war and his take as a statesman on nuclear weapons – from the development of the ‘Bomb’ as a weapon of war against Nazi Germany to the potential use of nuclear arms as weapons of communist containment in the early Cold War. Professor Kevin Ruane’s book, Churchill and the Bomb in War and Cold War was named as one of BBC History Magazine’s books of the year.

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Festival Book Quiz 6:00pm - 8:00pm - Sunday 3 June

(includes finger food platters of veggie and meat dishes). The Festival Book Quiz returns … but in a new venue and at a new time!  This year we will be in the inspiring, creative space at CUBE Café in Déda.  Hopefully the questions will keep you on your toes.   Quiz Maestros, Andy and Stuart also return with more mind boggling questions – and of course the coveted Winner’s Trophy will be presented!    Please enter as a team of 6.  Team fee includes refreshments and the bar will be open!

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Events on

Monday 4th June

An Audience with Rob Andrew MBE 4:00pm - 5:30pm - Monday 4 June
£10 including light refreshments
Derbyshire County Cricket Club, DE21 6AF

For tickets, contact Reception at The 3aaa County Ground on: 01332 388 101 As a Rugby Union player with England and the British Lions, Rob Andrew was assured in his kicking and defensive skills off both feet. He also had a brief career in first class cricket whilst at University and played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Second XI. He was formerly the Director of Rugby of Newcastle Falcons, where he is credited with discovering Jonny Wilkinson. He was the Professional Rugby Director at the Rugby Football Union until April 2016 and is currently the Chief Executive of Sussex County Cricket Club. He will join us at the 3aaa County Ground to discuss his autobiography, The Game of My Life.

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Suffragettes: An Exhibition - Furthest from the Sea, Strand Arcade, Off Sadlergate 10:00am - 2:00pm - 4 - 8 June

Trailblazing women who successfully fought for the right to vote are honoured in this life-size paper tribute, handcrafted to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage. In a time of #MeToo and Time’s Up, this installation explores the lengths suffragettes went to in order to be heard.

Created by students from Birmingham City University’s Design for Performance course, the exhibition features key figures from the Suffragette movement in the run up to 1918 - which first handed women the vote.

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Catharine Arnold - Pandemic 1918 12noon - 1pm - Monday 4 June

Spanish Flu was the most devastating pandemic in world history, killing up to 100 million people worldwide. 250,000 died in Britain, 750,000 in the United States - five times its total military fatalities in the First World War - and over 2 million in Europe. But despite these massive fatalities, news of the danger was suppressed in Britain for fear of damaging war-time morale. Pandemic 1918 traces the course of the deadly virus, its origins and progress across the globe through the personal testimonies of many remarkable people, from the famous to the obscure. Drawing upon previously unpublished records, memoirs, diaries and government publications Catharine Arnold uncovers the human story of 1918.

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Philip Walker - Behind the Lawrence Legend 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Monday 4 June

'Lawrence of Arabia’ is undoubtedly one of the most beguiling and iconic characters of the twentieth century. TE Lawrence became world-famous as 'Lawrence of Arabia' after helping Sherif Hussein of Mecca gain independence from Turkey during the Arab Revolt of 1916-18. However, his vital achievements would have been impossible without the unsung efforts of a forgotten band of fellow officers and spies. 

In Behind the Lawrence Legend, Philip Walker interweaves the compelling stories of Colonel Cyril Wilson and a colourful supporting cast with the narrative of Lawrence and the desert campaign. Wilson and his comrades saved the revolt from collapse on a number of occasions: without them there would have been no 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

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Debut Author: Mahsuda Snaith 6:00pm - 7:00pm - Monday 4 June

Mahsuda Snaith, named by Stylist as ‘the voice of the next generation’, joins us to discuss her affecting debut novel, The Things We Thought We Knew. Ravine Roy has been stuck in her mother's council estate flat for 10 years with chronic pain syndrome. What led to her being here and how can she get out? Exploring an ever-changing Britain over the span of two decades, The Things We Thought Knew is a funny and moving coming of age novel about the people who make us and the secrets that can change our lives forever. Winner of the prestigious SI Leeds Literary Prize, the Bristol Short Story Prize and named by The Observer as one of the New Faces of Fiction 2017, Mahsuda is one of our extraordinary debut authors.

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The Fight Against Alzheimer’s - Joseph Jebelli 6:00pm - 7:00pm - Monday 4 June

In 2016, Alzheimer’s overtook heart disease as the number one cause of death in England and Wales. Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli’s grandfather suffered from the condition and, determined to save other families from the experiences that had rocked his, he set out to write the book that explained what happened to his grandfather. In Pursuit of Memory Joseph Jebelli zooms inside the human brain to see how Alzheimer's works and out again to show, entwined with the history and science, a thrilling hunt for answers. His compelling and accessible insider's account shows vividly why he feels so hopeful about a cure but also why our best defence in the meantime is to understand the disease.

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The Spying Game - Charles Cumming & Martin Pearce 8:00pm - 9:00pm - Monday 4 June

Described as: “the one true heir to John Le Carré and Ian Fleming”, Charles Cumming has written nine spy thrillers, including three bestselling Thomas Kell novels. His latest, The Man Between, features a thriller writer, Kit Carradine, who is approached by MI6 to work for them whilst attending a literary festival in Marrakech. Indeed, it was his own experiences of being approached for recruitment by MI6 that set him on his career as a novelist. Martin Pearce’s biography, Spymaster, of his great uncle, Sir Maurice Oldfield, gave him unique access to contacts and papers to explore the extraordinary life of the most highly decorated British spymaster of the Cold War. Together they will uncover some of the mysteries of the Secret Intelligence Service from their first hand experiences and research.

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Events on

Tuesday 5th June

The Little Library Cookbook - Kate Young 6:30pm - 8:00pm - Tuesday 5 June
£10
Engine Shed Restaurant, The Roundhouse, Derby College, DE24 8JE

Be transported back to your childhood with food writer and cook Kate Young, who took the inspiration for her food blog, The Little Library Café, from her own childhood: “Growing up, my memories of books and of food are intertwined - dreaming of rich treacle tart by the Gryffindor fire, drinking gallons of ginger beer and lemonade on Kirrin Island with the Famous Five, and sharing a pot of creamy honey with Winnie the Pooh.” She’s now turned these memories into The Little Library Cookbook, with 100 recipes from favourite stories. This very special event will include sampling some of Kate’s recipes, prepared by catering students at Derby College in a Derby Bake Off competition, which will be judged by Kate. Includes food tastings.

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Robert Winston: Improve Your Learning 7:00pm - 8:15pm - Tuesday 5 June
£15.75/£13.75
Guildhall Theatre/Derby LIVE, DE1 3AH

Professor Robert Winston, one of the most instantly recognisable scientists in the country, brings learning to life in this fascinating illustrated talk. We learn fastest when young, but we can continue effective learning into old age.  If we keep learning we are likely to be healthier, happier and have a useful, longer life. With his infectious enthusiasm and energy, Professor Robert Winston highlights how valuable learning is, what we all can do to improve our learning and how to reap the rewards long afterwards. This event will not include a Q&A session. A £1.25 booking fee is added when buying in person and on the phone.

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John Timpson - Marketing Derby Bondholders’ Event 8:00am - 9:30am - Tuesday 5 June

If you are a Marketing Derby Bondholder, please book through Lindsey Hatfield. Other bookings through the Festival Box Office at QUAD. Sir John Timpson CBE is the chairman and owner of Timpson, which has over 2000 UK outlets specialises in shoe repairs, key cutting and engraving, as well as dry cleaning and photo processing. John Timpson's philosophy is: "If you treat people well, it is blindingly obvious that they will do a good job." The business has won countless awards, and been in the top 10 of The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ every time it has entered. The company has a policy of employing ex-prisoners and runs pre-release training in several prisons. John has a weekly management column in The Daily Telegraph and has written several books about his management style, including Upside Down Management and High Street Heroes.

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Handling History: Bookish objects 10:30am - 11:00am - Tuesday 5 June

Come and explore some of the special books and book-related items from their collection.

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Kinder Scout - The People’s Mountain - Ed Douglas 12:00pm - 1:00pm - Tuesday 5 June

Kinder Scout: The People's Mountain is a celebration of Britain’s most popular ‘mountain’ and our role in its creation. Located in the Peak District, the UK’s first national park, its slopes bore witness in 1932 to a movement of feet which helped shape modern access legislation: the Kinder Mass Trespass. 
But Kinder Scout's story is about much more than the working class taking on the elite. Writer Ed Douglas and photographer John Beatty’s book reveals the social, political, cultural and ecological developments that have shaped the physical and human landscape of this enigmatic and treasured hill.

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Garry John Martin - A Sense of Place 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Tuesday 5 June

Garry John Martin is a British novelist who explores stories through place. This session will focus on the importance of place as a character and the settings of his novels: London, Paris, India, Iraqi Kurdistan, the Inner Hebrides and medieval Orkney. Accompanied by the sketches from his illustrious journeys, discover how place shapes the way we see the world.

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FORMAT PhotoForum event - Mark Neville - Battle Against Stigma 6:30pm - 8:30pm - Tuesday 5 June

‘Mark Neville has re-imagined what documentary photography could be, should be. Instead of the bland ‘deconstructions’ that pass so lazily as ‘critical’ in contemporary art, he makes extraordinary pictures and finds extraordinary ways to get them back to those he has photographed.’ David Campany Screening rarely seen films and images, Neville will talk about the QUAD exhibition and his book Battle Against Stigma and his other projects, and the relationship between the audiences he targets and his unique practice.

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Events on

Wednesday 6th June

Festival Lunch with the Countess of Burlington: House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth 12noon for 12.30 - 3pm - Wednesday 6 June
£45
Derbyshire County Cricket Club, DE21 6AF

Tables of 10. Ticket includes Prosecco on arrival, two-course lunch (vegetarian option) with wine and tea/coffee. Please note: Booking for this event is by phone only at QUAD on 01332 290606. Booking deadline is 21 May. Chatsworth has been home to the Cavendish family and the hereditary dukes of Devonshire since 1549. Renowned as much for its fashionable history as its unrivalled collection of art, palatial gardens and celebrated family dynasty, in 2017 Chatsworth hosted a magnificent and ambitious exhibition exploring the history of fashion and adornment at Chatsworth. It brought to life the captivating individuals from the Cavendish family, including Bess of Hardwick, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, Adele Astaire, the sister and dance partner of Fred Astaire, plus Deborah Devonshire and Nancy Mitford, model Stella Tennant and John F Kennedy’s sister, ‘Kick’ Kennedy, were also central to the show. The Countess of Burlington’s book, House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth, celebrates this heritage in all its splendid glory with new images of the rare surviving garments, gorgeous contemporary photographs and essays by leading historians and fashion critics.

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The Curious World of Samuel Pepys & John Evelyn 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Wednesday 6 June
£7
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, DE1 1BS

Pepys and Evelyn are two pivotal Restoration figures and the most celebrated English diarists. They were also extraordinary men and close friends with shared interests: diary-keeping, science travel and a love of books. Pepys was earthy and shrewd, Evelyn a genteel aesthete, but both were drawn to intellectual pursuits. Margaret Willes revisits the history of London and England at a time of regicide, revolution, fire and plague.

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Science, Art, & Gender: challenging the barriers!
In partnership with Lunar21
6:00pm - 7:30pm - Wednesday 6 June
£7/£5
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, DE1 1BS

The original Lunar Society brought together sparky individuals who used their enquiring minds and knowledge across different disciplines, to challenge accepted thinking. Lunar21 aims to be a thinking space for the people of Derby. Described as ‘Derby’s non-political ‘think-tank’’, asking questions that have no obvious answers - and that we must ask if we are to shed light on the 21st century, and Derby’s place in it. Patricia Fara is an author and historian of science at the University of Cambridge. Her areas of particular academic interest include the role of portraiture and art in the history of science, science in the 18th century England during the Enlightenment and the role of women in science. Taking themes from her work. Lunar 21 will lead a discussion around about some of today’s challenging issues, which have a strong resonance for the future of Derby’s economic and educational institutions and for local employment. Cafe open until 6pm for pre-event refreshments.

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Alison Weir: Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen 6:30pm - 7:30pm - Wednesday 6 June
£10/£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

Only 11 days after the bloody death of the Queen, a young woman is dressing for her wedding to the King. She knows she must bear a son - or face ruin. She is haunted by the fate of her predecessor. We welcome back acclaimed author and historian, Alison Weir who continues her epic Six Tudor Queens series with this captivating novel, which brings to life Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s third wife. Alison’s meticulous research casts fresh light on both traditional and modern perceptions of Jane Seymour. A young woman of courage and compassion, from a family tainted by scandal, she was driven by the strength of her faith and a belief that she might do some good in a wicked world. All will be well if she can give the King what he wants.

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Behold America - Sarah Churchwell 8:30pm - 9:30pm - Wednesday 6 June
£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

What does America stand for in the twenty-first century? Behold, America confronts this urgent question by looking at the story behind two of the most contentious phrases in the American political playbook: the ‘American Dream’ and ‘America First’. What do these phrases tell us about America’s idea of itself? What does it mean to put America first, and what exactly are Americans supposed to be dreaming of – personal wealth, political power, racial equality, political refuge, individual freedoms? What happens when these values collide? ‘America First’ and the ‘American Dream’ were born nearly a century ago and instantly tangled over capitalism, democracy and race. Invoked most recently in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, they came to embody opposing views in the battle to define the soul of the nation. Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature at the University of London. She regularly writes for The Guardian, New Statesman and New York Times Book Review and comments on arts, culture and politics for television. Her appearances include Question Time, Newsnight and The Review Show.

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Hansons’ Valuation Day - Books and printed treasures 10am – 12noon - Wednesday 6 June

Our special version of the Antiques Roadshow returns to Derby! Come along and meet a member of the Hanson’s Valuation team. If you have any antique books, magazines, posters or old documents lurking in the back of a drawer, bring them along and find out more about their history and today’s value.

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Mick Herron 6:30pm - 7:30pm - Wednesday 6 June

Mick Herron’s latest novel, London Rules, is the fifth in his acclaimed Jackson Lamb series, featuring a bunch of messed-up MI5 agents based in Slough House. His books are darkly humorous, mixing absurd situations with sparklingly funny dialogue. The first book in the series, the Steel Dagger-nominated Slow Horses, was hailed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the ‘the twenty greatest spy novels of all time’. His subsequent novels have won innumerable nominations and awards and London Rules looks likely to continue to grow his reputation.

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Events on

Thursday 7th June

Afternoon Tea with Anne de Courcy: The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York 3:00pm - 5:00pm - Thursday 7 June
£20
Cathedral Quarter Hotel, DE1 3JR

Tables of 10. Ticket includes a glass of Prosecco on arrival and Afternoon Tea with a selection of cakes, cream scones and sandwiches.  Please note:  Booking for this event is by phone only at QUAD on 01332 290606.  Booking deadline is 25 May. Towards the end of the 19th century and for the first few years of the 20th century, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age. The Husband Hunters sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times.

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The Bookshop Band with Louis de Bernières, Joanne Harris and Emma Hooper 7:30pm - 10:00pm - Thursday 7 June
£12/£10
Derby Theatre, DE1 2NF

Join us for a vibrant evening of books, music and lively author talks. Sure to be one of the highlights of Derby Book Festival 2018, the night pairs the fantastic Bookshop Band with award-winning authors (and talented musicians) Louis de Bernières (Captain Corelli's Mandolin), Joanne Harris (Chocolat) and Emma Hooper (Etta and Otto and Russell and James).  In 2016 The Bookshop Band and Louis de Bernières event was one of the Festival highlights.  The Festival is delighted to welcome them back for this special event which will see the authors discuss their new work and famous novels as well as play live with the band. The event also marks the launch of Emma's latest book Our Homesick Songs.  Truly unmissable!

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Mark Beaumont 7:30pm - 9:00pm - Thursday 7 June
£13.75/£11.75
Guildhall Theatre/Derby LIVE, DE1 3AH

A household name through his thrilling documentaries about ultra-endurance and adventure, join us for an evening with the daring Cyclist and Adventurer Mark Beaumont. Having smashed the circumnavigation cycling World Record twice in his career, he now holds this 18,000 mile title in a time of 78 days and 14 hours, averaging 240 miles a day.   His epic documentaries have taken viewers to over 100 countries, into the Arctic, the high mountains and around the Commonwealth, also surviving capsize in the mid-Atlantic. A £1.25 booking fee is added when buying in person and on the phone.

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The Silk Road presented by Agudo Dance Company 7:30pm - 8:30pm - Thursday 7 June
£12/£10
Déda, DE1 3GU

Silk Road is a universal and personal story of East meets West in the 21st century. In collaboration with the renowned classical Indian dancer Mavin Khoo, Agudo weaves his Flamenco roots with a unique, contemporary style. Performed with an evocative live score, Silk Road is a fascinating and vibrant exploration of the rituals along nomadic routes. The journey conjures images of the pilgrims, monks, traders and urban dwellers that made their way from China to the Iberian Peninsula. It is a celebration of diverse cultures and dances, as strong and as delicate as silk itself. Silk Road is co-commissioned by Sadler's Wells London, ŻfinMalta, DanceEast, Dance4, Akademi. Supported by Arts Council England, Impulstanz Vienna, DanceXchange, Teatros del Canal, University of Roehampton, Stratford Circus Arts Centre, The Place, Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund, University of East London, Swindon Dance.

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Letterpress Bookplate Workshop 6:00pm - 9:00pm - Thursday 7 June

Enjoy an absorbing evening creating bookplates in the traditional print method of letterpress at Smallprint HQ. Ideal for people of all letterpress abilities who are interested in its creative aspect.

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Events on

Friday 8th June

Feminist Friday

Helen Pankhurst - Deeds not Words 6:00pm - 7:00pm - Friday 8 June
£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

Helen Pankhurst will be leading a participatory discussion on women’s lives, reflecting on the changes in the UK since the right to a parliamentary vote was first granted to some women in 1918. The session will be informed by findings from her new book Deeds Not Words: The Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now. Helen Pankhurst – great-granddaughter of Emmeline and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst – will start with a discussion about the suffragette campaign, then reflect on continuity and change in women’s lives over the last century, looking at politics, money/work, identity, violence, culture, social norms and power. Quotes from those interviewed, both pioneers and ordinary women – in all their diversity – are woven into her book and will be brought into the discussion. The session will end by looking at priorities for the future – to 2028, the centenary of equal franchise.

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Germaine Greer - Women for Life on Earth 7:30pm - 9:00pm - Friday 8 June
£13.75/£11.75
Guildhall Theatre/Derby LIVE, DE1 3AH

One of the leading voices in the feminist movement, enjoy an evening with the outspoken writer and academic Germaine Greer. Her ideas have created controversy ever since her first book, The Female Eunuch, made her a household name. Delivered in her trademark combative and entertaining style, Germaine will explore the future of our planet. When Welsh women turned up at the RAF base at Greenham Common in 1981, they were carrying a banner that read ‘Women for Life on Earth’. Theirs was direct action, born of gut reaction, virtually innocent of theoretical framework. Feminists can be found wherever the planet and our fellow earthlings are in trouble. If the planet is to survive and human beings continue to inhabit it, this female energy must be unleashed. There will be a book sale after this event but no book signing. A £1.25 booking fee is added when buying in person and on the phone.

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Eddie Mair 8:00pm - 9:00pm - Friday 8 June
£10
QUAD, DE1 3AS

One of Britain’s most beloved broadcasters, and the UK’s favourite radio voice, Eddie Mair has reached the peak of his profession. For nearly 20 years Eddie has been at the helm of BBC Radio 4’s PM: a nightly news round-up that means he works for just one hour a day, giving him plenty time to knock together his diaries in A Good Face for Radio. Whether he’s interviewing politicians, getting people to share their personal experiences, or just imparting his favourite zesty chicken recipes, Eddie is never happier than when he is at the microphone - except when he is at the microphone with a large martini. Eddie’s other work, as a humanitarian and tireless, secret worker for charity is not mentioned in his diary …

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Books that Made Me 12:30pm - 1:30pm - Friday 8 June

Spend a lively lunchtime with our very own Book Club. Joined by some of the most interesting young feminists writing today, we’ll look at their own work before discussing some of their favourite books. Presenting an array of voices: we’ll journey from famous feminist books to uncovering the hidden literary gems and voices rarely heard in the mainstream. The panel with include Rachael Curzons and Olumide Popoola. Rachael Curzons is the Chief Operating Officer of Fearless Futures, a team of inspiring, passionate, innovative and creative people committed to a gender equal future with all young women fearlessly leading in our world. Winner of the May Ayim Award, Olumide Popoola explores the ‘in-between’ of culture, language and public space where a, sometimes uncomfortable, look at complexity is needed. Her novel, When we Speak of Nothing, is an edgy, lyrical piece that explores difference.

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The Party Somewhere Else: Open Party 3:00pm - 4:00pm - Friday 8 June

Meet, mingle, listen, talk and laugh while we discuss and wrestle with some key questions about how to get diverse female stories heard, published and staged. The Party Somewhere Else are an East Midlands collective who champion female-led theatre and writing. Their Open Parties are fun debates in a supportive environment, discussing issues of the day. Open to people of all genders who wish to support female and non-binary voices. Whether you’re a writer, performer, creative or an audience member, come along for an afternoon of open discussion on female-led writing. This is a perfect accompaniment to Derby Theatre’s PlayShuffle.

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Afternoon Tea with Persephone Books 3:00pm - 5:00pm - Friday 8 June

Tables of 10. Ticket includes a glass of Prosecco on arrival and Afternoon Tea with a selection of cakes, cream scones and sandwiches. Please note: Booking for this event is by phone only at QUAD on 01332 290606. Booking deadline is 25 May Following two sell-out events in 2015 and 2016, we welcome back Persephone founder and owner, Nicola Beauman, to talk (generally) about Persephone Books, feminism and whether we should have women-only publishing houses - and indeed businesses - and (specifically) about two ‘Suffragette’ books: No Surrender by Constance Maud and William an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton, already published by Persephone. Constance Maud and Cicely Hamilton were members of the 400-strong Women Writers Suffrage League; No Surrender was published in November 1911 when the struggle for the vote was at its height; William an Englishman (1919) was conceived by Cicely Hamilton as a suffrage novel but then became a book about the First World War. A third ‘Suffragette’ novel, The Call by Edith Zangwill, is due to be published in October 2018.

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Emma Jane Kirby - The Optician of Lampedusa 4:00pm - 5:30pm - Friday 8 June

Emma Jane Kirby, BBC reporter and former Foreign Correspondent, wrote The Optician of Lampedusa following her prize-winning dispatch from the front line of the migrant crisis in Lampedusa for Radio 4’s PM. It tells the story of an ordinary man whose late summer boat trip off a Sicilian island unexpectedly turns into a tragic rescue mission. “We have a duty to tell people what’s happening, but I cried every single day writing this book.” As Waterstones’ Book of the Month in November 2016, the book raised £56,000 for Oxfam. Her event will start with readings by some of the young refugees and asylum seekers at Derby College who have been participating in the Festival’s Engagement Programme.

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PlayShuffle – Feminist Friday 5:30pm - 7:30pm - Friday 8 June

PlayShuffle is an open mic night for new writing, designed to lift plays off the page so they can stand on their own two feet. We provide the Dutch courage so actors can stretch their sight-reading muscles; producers and directors test their ability to sniff out potential and playwrights hear their work for the first time. 
This particular Playshuffle will celebrate strong, female-identifying characters and/or female-identifying writers. So please bear this in mind when deciding what material to show. We of course welcome actors, writers and audience members of all genders. 

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Events on

Saturday 9th June

Lucy Mangan: Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading 1:00pm - 2:00pm - Saturday 9 June
£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and helped her understand her own. She was whisked away to Narnia – and Kirrin Island – and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy, and played by the tracks with The Railway Children. No wonder she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home. In Bookworm, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-beloved books and also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way.

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Margaret Drabble 3:00pm - 4:00pm - Saturday 9 June
£10
QUAD, DE1 3AS

One of Britain's most prolific and popular authors, Dame Margaret Drabble, was born in Sheffield and went on to read English at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1960 she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, at one point serving as an understudy for Vanessa Redgrave. She has published 19 acclaimed novels including The Millstone, A Summer Bird-Cage, The Pure Gold Baby, Jerusalem the Golden, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and The Dark Flood Rises. She has also written biographies, screenplays and was the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature. She was awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for services to literature, DBE in the 2008 Honours list and has been described by The Independent as ‘the mistress of English Literary Letters’.

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Being David Archer - Tim Bentinck 8:00pm - 9:00pm - Saturday 9 June
£8
QUAD, DE1 3AS

The Archers is the world’s longest running drama series with five million loyal listeners and a theme tune that Billy Connolly wants to be the National Anthem.  Tim Bentinck landed the part of the son of the eponymous household 35 years ago and in Being David Archer he takes the reader behind the scenes of this British institution. Unlike many acting memoirs, this isn’t a succession of thespian tales of freezing digs, forgotten lines and name dropping. It is an articulate, funny and thoughtful book of how to survive an insecure life. But there’s more to him than that … he’s a successful actor in TV, film and theatre and the voice of ‘Mind the Gap’ on the Piccadilly Line!

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Beginners’ Bookbinding Workshop 10am - 12.30pm and 2 - 4.30pm - Saturday 9 June

Experiment with the decorative technique of Japanese Stab Binding to create a journal, sketchbook, scrapbook or album. Ideal for beginners who would like to spend a couple of creative hours in the studio.

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Festival Book Fair 10:30am - 3:30pm - Saturday 9 June

Our Book Fair returns in the new setting of St Peter’s Church in the heart of the city. Stalls will include authors, publishers, charities and bookshops. Come and discover stories new and old, or will you take a chance on one of our mystery books?

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Michael Stewart - Ill Will: The Untold Story of Heathcliff 11am - 12 noon - Saturday 9 June

Michael Stewart has worked for many years with the Brontë Parsonage and immersed himself in the history of Wuthering Heights. In his gothic novel, Ill Will, Michael tells Heathcliff’s story after he leaves Wuthering Heights. He travels across the moors to Liverpool in search of his past - and the fortune that will one day send Heathcliff back to Cathy. Michael Stewart is a multi-award winning writer. He has written several stage plays, one of which, Karry Owky, was joint winner of the King’s Cross Award for New Writing. His debut novel, King Crow, was published in January 2011 and won The Guardian’s Not-the-Booker Award.

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Jhalak Prize Panel 4:30pm - 5:30pm - Saturday 9 June

Awarded annually, the Jhalak prize was set up in 2016 to find the best writers of colour in the UK. 2018’s line-up is astonishing in its scope. We’re delighted to be joined by three of their finest long-and short-listed authors: Meena Kandasamy, Xiaolu Guo and Leone Ross, who will be itereviewed by Catherine Johnson, Jhalak Prize judge, to discuss their extraordinary pieces of work and the importance of the prize in today’s writing landscape. Meena Kandasamy’s second novel, When I Hit You, chronicles an abusive marriage and celebrates the invincible power of art: it is a smart, fierce and courageous take on wedlock in modern India. Xiaolu Guo’s memoir, Once upon a time int eh East, charts Xiaolou’s journey from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing China to life in Britain. An extraordinary tale of East meets West. Leone Ross’ raucous collection of short stories, Come Let us Sing Anyway, range from richly extended stories to intense pieces of flash fiction, set between Jamaica and Britain, in a world where anything can happen.

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Jessica Fellowes - The Mitford Murders 6:00pm - 7:00pm - Saturday 9 June

Based on a real, unsolved crime, The Mitford Murders is set amid the lives of the glamorous Mitford sisters. It's 1919, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London and, most of all, her oppressive and dangerous uncle. Louisa's salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nurserymaid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially 16-year-old Nancy - an acerbic, bright young woman in love with stories. But when a nurse - Florence Nightingale Shore, god-daughter of her famous namesake - is killed on a train in broad daylight, Nancy and amateur sleuth Louisa find that in post-war England, everyone has something to hide … Jessica Fellowes is the niece of Julian Fellowes and the author of the bestselling novelisations of the TV series Downton Abbey.

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Michael Morpurgo - The Mozart Question (For ages 8+) 7:30pm - 8:45pm - Saturday 9 June

The Mozart Question tells the story of Paolo Levi, a world-famous performer who developed his passion for music as a young child with the help of his teacher, Benjamin. Alongside this story is that of his parents, who were both musicians too – Jewish prisoners surviving, playing music in a concentration camp during the Second World War. Treated with utmost sensitivity for a family audience, The Mozart Question is a story of friendship and family, truth and secrets – interwoven by the power of culture and music. This unique performance of his novel, The Mozart Question, is narrated by Sir Michael Morpurgo and beautifully enhanced with extracts from music by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Vivaldi. Featuring Daniel Pioro on violin and string quartet The Storyteller’s Ensemble.

Book tickets - £23.50/£21.50 Read more

Derby Book Festival

1 - 9 June 2018

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Derby Book Festival is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales Number 1159763