Petworth’s annual literary festival set to start

Kenneth Baker On AssassinationsKenneth Baker On Assassinations
Kenneth Baker On Assassinations
Petworth’s annual literary festival follows on immediately from its rescheduled week of summer highlights.

Concerts continue until Saturday with (Thursday, October 22, 8pm MILOŠ solo guitar; Friday, October 23, 8pm, Patti Boulaye – Aretha & Me; Saturday, October 24, 8pm, Charles Owen with Katya Apekisheva), and then the writers take over.

Events will happen live to small invited audiences of sponsors and friends – but will be streamed, giving the public the chance to buy tickets and attend the events online.

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The first of the literary guests Joanna Trollope (Saturday, October 24, 12 noon) who will talk about the issues at the heart of a modern family – the subject of her latest novel Mum & Dad. It’s been twenty-five years since Gus and Monica left England to start a new life in Spain, building a vineyard and wine business from the ground up. However, when Gus suffers a stroke and their idyllic Mediterranean life is thrown into upheaval, it’s left to their grown-up children in London to step in…

Sunday, October 25, 3pm offers a session with David Nott author of War Doctor. For more than 25 years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993, to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out life-saving operations and field surgery in the most challenging conditions.

Sunday, October 25, 7pm brings AN Wilson to Petworth to discuss The Mystery of Charles Dickens. Wilson goes beyond standard biography to revisit the wellspring of Dickens’ vast and wild imagination, revealing why his novels have such instantaneous appeal and why they continue to resonate today. He also uncovers the double standards of both the man and his times.

The evening session (7pm) on Monday, October 26 will see James Naughtie discuss On the Road: Adventures from Nixon to Trump. With the US Presidential election just days away and dominating the news headlines, the author and BBC broadcaster, James Naughtie, looks at the country that has fascinated him and drawn him across the Atlantic for half a century. From Presidents Nixon through to Trump, he tells the story of a country that is grappling with a dream.

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The lunchtime session (12 noon) on Tuesday, October 27 is with Kate Fall, author of The Gatekeeper. The evening session at 7pm offers An Evening with Michael Morpurgo. He will cover his latest novel Boy Giant which looks at the plight of a young refugee fleeing Afghanistan on a rubber dinghy only to be washed up on an island occupied by tiny people, an island called Lilliput.

Wednesday, October 28, 12 noon continues with Vanessa Branson discussing One Hundred Summers; at 7pm, Anthony Horowitz will talk about Moonflower Murders. Moonflower Murders, follows on from Magpie Murders..

Thursday, October 29, 12 noon offers Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason on House of Music; at 7pm, Lev Parikian addresses Into the Tangled Bank/Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear?

Friday, October 30, 12 noon brings Jonathon Porritt to Petworth for Hope in Hell; at 7pm Martin Bell will speak on War & Peacekeeping.

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Saturday, October 31, 12 noon offers Kenneth Baker On Assassinations. The former Home Secretary takes a historical perspective on assassins and assassinations ranging from Julius Caesar to President Kennedy to Osama bin Laden. In his view assassins hope to change the world, but rarely succeed, the killing of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914 being arguably the only one that changed the history of the world.

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