Grace Waters previews the increasingly significant Dulwich Literary Festival
The Dulwich Literary Festival returns to South London from 8 to 11 November, with a line-up of stellar speakers including comedian Jo Brand, historian Ben Macintyre and BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed.
Tomorrow (4 November) will see two foretastes of the festival as it visits the final West Norwood Feast event of 2018.
Brazilian-born children’s illustrator and author Fabi Santiago will host a story time with craft activities for children above three (accompanied by a responsible adult) based on her picture book I Really Want that Unicorn, starring Chloe Crocodile. Comic artist Tim Bird will tell how he brought the Great North Wood to life in his book of the same name. Both events are at the Portico Gallery.
Using the theme of “rough music” – a traditional and ancient means of expressing dissent – the festival will celebrate people who have rejected social norms and oppression.
A programme of discussions will reflect on the World Wars in commemoration of 100 years of Armistice, look into pressing issues of international conflict and celebrate the unifying power of music.
The festival is part of the MILD group’s Live Lit series which includes three literary festivals and a year-round series of in-store events at Dulwich Books.
The beautiful Dulwich College, alma mater to P G Wodehouse, Raymond Chandler and Michael Ondaatje, among other famed writers, will host a number of the 15 events to take place over the four days.
MILD group CEO Susie Nicklin says: “This year’s festival features writers who highlight injustice, fight against stereotype, and make noise about the iniquities of war, corruption, bad-faith politics, forced migration and intolerance of difference.”
Classic FM presenter, John Suchet will be discussing the life, loves and friend of Tchaikovsky, one of history’s greatest composers.
Louis de Bernières, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, will discuss his poetry collection, The Cat in the Treble Clef, that reflects on family, human connection, the passing of time, music and love.
Much loved comic Jo Brand will be joined by fellow South Londoner Brenda Gilhooly to discuss Brand’s new memoir Born Lippy and what it means to be female today after 100 years after partial women’s suffrage in the UK.
Oliver Bullough and Dharshini David will examine the relationship between wealth and power and the implications it has for a global future.
Giles Milton, Simon Heffer and Melissa Harrison will delve into history, literature and the varying perspectives of WW1 and WW2.
Kamal Ahmed will look into the complexities of immigration and race in the 21st century.
On Remembrance Sunday, Jean Moorcroft Wilson, a biographer of First World War poets, will host a discussion of war poetry and the mental health of veterans with journalist and post-traumatic stress disorder expert Matthew Green.
Other headliners for the festival include The Apprentice star and Countdown host, Nick Hewer, novelists Melissa Harrison and Sulaiman Sulaiman Addonia. Addonia a novelist who fled Eritrea as a refugee in childhood and spent his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan.
His debut novel, The Consequences of Love, was translated into more than 20 languages. He lives in Brussels where he has launched a creative writing academy for refugees and asylum seekers.
Tickets are on sale via the festival website and at Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Road, SE21 8SW.