Wimbledon BookFest kicks off just as we begin to settle into autumn, with a wealth of authors and writers from all over the globe converging on our beautiful town.
With the festival spanning the first half of October, and so much talent hitting us all at once, it can be difficult to choose who you want to see. Culture Editor Janie Smith shares her favourite 2019 festival highlights, and signposts the best bits to help you on your way…
HOW TO BE RIGHT – James O’Brien
4th October, 8pm | £20; Baillie Gifford Big Tent
Bringing his sharp wit to SW19, the LBC radio presenter and author known for his intelligent interview technique will be discussing his latest book, How To Be Right in a World Gone Wrong, in conversation with Steve Bloomfield. Expect a hilarious and insightful guide to people with faulty opinions!
WITCHCRAFT – Stacey Halls
6th October, 3pm | £10; Robert Graves Gallery
Learn more about the Pendle Witch Trials: Stacey expertly fictionalises real life events around witchcraft and Lancastrian history in The Familiars, her bestselling debut novel. There will be a book-signing afterwards.
HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT CRIME – Louise Doughty & Bev Thomas
7th October, 7pm | £12.50; Robert Graves Gallery
The author of TV-adapted Apple Tree Yard discusses her thrilling ninth novel, Platform Seven, and the secrets of writing suspenseful drama with debut author and former clinical psychologist Bev Thomas. To discover more, read our fascinating interview with Louise Doughty here.
ROBERT HARRIS – In conversation with Sam Leith
8th October, 7.45pm | £27.50, Baillie Gifford Big Tent
With 12 international bestsellers to his name, including Pompeii and an Officer and a Spy, Robert brings his latest novel The Second Sleep to thrill, shock and unnerve you. Ticket price includes a hardback copy of the book.
TRICKS, FLIPS AND STORYTELLING – Nell Gifford & Tweedy the Clown
12th October, 10.30am | £10, Baillie Gifford Big Tent
With spectacular performances, props and plenty of fun, this storytelling event is perfect for children aged three and above. Meet Tweedy the Clown and Nell Gifford in their Circus of Dreams.
SHE-MERCHANTS, BUCCANEERS AND GENTLEWOMEN – Katie Hickman
12th October, 3.30pm | £15, William Morris Tent
Dig deep beneath the surface of imperial male history and discover the adventurous and pioneering women of India with chronicler Katie and her latest book, She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen.
FAST FASHION – Dana Thomas
13th October, 3.30pm | £15, Baillie Gifford Big Tent
Hosted by former model and fashion journalist Dana Thomas – author of Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion & The Future of Clothes – this topical talk promises an interesting and meaningful discussion about disposable fashion and its impact on the environment. Perfect timing as the issue of climate change is on everyone’s mind.
FINDING MY VOICE – Nadiya Hussein
13th October, 7pm | £27.50, Baillie Gifford Big Tent
Much-loved Nadiya Hussein – Great British Bake Off winner, cookery writer, TV star and The Times columnist – will be discussing her career and personal challenges, from discrimination to anxiety. An absolute must-visit event. Ticket price includes a copy of Finding My Voice.
Wimbledon BookFest 2019 runs from 3–13 October 2019; all venues are set on Wimbledon Common. To book tickets, see the full events calendar or find out more about the events recommended, visit www.wimbledonbookfest.org.
Written By: Janie Smith | Arts & Culture Editor, Lady Wimbledon Magazine