Man Booker 50 Festival

The Man Booker Prize is celebrating their 50 years of the finest fiction with a campaign introducing new audiences to its winning and longlisted authors throughout a weekend of debates, panels and master-classes.

The festival will take place across the site in Royal Festival Hall and the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room at Southbank Centre in London from 6 July to 8 July.

Featuring more than 60 speakers from the prizes history, including 17 winners from Kazuo Ishiguro to Paul Beatty, the weekend will culminate in the star-studded Golden Man Booker Live on the Sunday night.

Along with other media partners, the festival will be broad-casted on BBC Four, BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking and BBC World Book Club.

The festival will open on the Friday night with two giants of historical fiction, winners Pat Barker and Hilary Mantel, examining how the form can shine a light on our present, along with the challenges of writing trilogies.

Saturday night sees a trio of special events, including Anita and Kiran Desai who discuss writing across the generations, the 2017 Man Booker International winner, David Grossman in conversation with author Natalie Haynes and a screening of Anthony Minghella’s adaptation of the Booker-winning novel The English Patient.

‘The Man Booker Prize has celebrated the defining novels and authors of our times and I am delighted to mark this milestone in its history with this special festival at Southbank Centre,” said Helena Kennedy, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, “If the next 50 years is as fierce, playful, radical and reflective as the last, I can’t wait to be a part of it”.

The master-classes features Ben Okri, Eleanor Catton, Kamila Shamsie and Graeme Macrae Burnet will all lead small-scale workshops on creativity and writing, and leading figures from the world of publishing will run sessions for aspiring writers on how to find a literary agent, get published and edit their novel.

The full line-up of Man Booker authors is Pat Barker, Julian Barnes, Paul Beatty, Peter Carey, Eleanor Catton, Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, David Grossman, Alan Hollinghurst, Kazuo Ishiguro, Howard Jacobson, Marlon James, Deborah Levy, Penelope Lively, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Hilary Mantel, Andrew O’Hagan, Ben Okri, Michael Ondaatje, DBC Pierre, Kamila Shamsie and Colm Tóibín.

Tickets go on sale via Southbank Centre’s website and pricing starts from £10-£40.

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> Shatabdi Sarker Poushi

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