Kate will be in conversation with Natalie Haynes in the cathedral on July 1 at 7pm – an event which continues Kate’s proud commitment to the festival, a commitment going back to the moment the festival was born. Kate was invited to chair a meeting in October 2012 to discuss the possibility of setting up a new month-long festival to promote and celebrate the huge range of arts talent in Chichester – painters, artists, actors, poets, sculptors, musicians, choreographers, singers, children’s entertainers and, of course writers. Since then, Kate is proud to have done at least one event in every festival so far, and this year is no exception.
The publication of her latest novel, The City of Tears, was delayed from May 2020 and finally was published in January this year during the third lockdown. It went straight to the top of the charts, like all Kate’s novels, but she wasn’t able to do any live events… until now. “Although the novel came out earlier this year, I always try to launch any new book in my home city of Chichester. I’m a big supporter of the Festival of Chichester – and I think everyone’s done an amazing job in keeping things going both last year and this year, with a mixed live and online programme – so I thought it might be fun to do my first-ever live event for The City of Tears here in Chichester, even if it’s a little late in the day!”
The Cathedral is operating strict social distancing measures, so there are relatively few tickets available, but the event will be live streamed so that a wider audience can take part. Kate promises to not only talk about The City of Tears and her recent highly-acclaimed memoir, An Extra Pair of Hands, but also to give a sneak preview of her next novel and next non-fiction project, both of which are already in the pipeline.
Tickets available from the FoC box office.
The Burning Chambers is a sequence of novels set against the backdrop of 300 years of history from 16th-century France to 19th-century South Africa.Book two, The City of Tears, picks up ten years after the first. In June 1572, for ten, violent years the Wars of Religion have raged across France. Neighbours have become enemies, countless lives have been lost, and the country has been torn apart over matters of religion, citizenship and sovereignty. But now a precarious peace is in the balance: a royal wedding negotiated by Catherine de’ Medici and Jeanne d’Albret, an alliance between the Catholic Crown and Henri, the Huguenot king of Navarre. It is a marriage that could see France reunited at last. Meanwhile in Puivert, an invitation has arrived for Minou Joubert and her family to attend the historic wedding in Paris in August. But what Minou does not know is that the Joubert family’s oldest enemy, Vidal, will also be there. Nor that, within days of the marriage, on the eve of the Feast Day of St Bartholomew, Minou’s family will be scattered to the four winds and one of her beloved children will have disappeared without trace . . .
“The book begins with the family that we met in book one deciding whether they should go to Paris for the wedding that everybody hopes will bring peace to France. Anybody that knows their history will be shouting ‘Don’t go!’”