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Derby Book Festival: Autumn 2019

25 Oct
-
27 Oct 2019
Derby Book Festival Autumn Edition

Lara Maiklem: Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames
Friday 25 October, 7 – 8pm
Sir John Hurt Cinema, QUAD
£8
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Mudlark: A person who scavenges for usable debris in the mud of a river or harbour
It is often the tiniest objects that tell the greatest stories.  

Lara Maiklem has scoured the banks of the Thames for over fifteen years, in pursuit of the objects that the river unearths: from Neolithic flints to Roman hair pins, medieval buckles to Tudor buttons, Georgian clay pipes to Victorian toys. These objects tell her about London and its lost ways of life. Mudlarking has garnered rave reviews and was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.  

Helen Mort: Black Car Burning
Saturday 26 October, 10.30 – 11.30am
The Box, QUAD
£6
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We welcome back Helen Mort, best known for her award winning poetry, to talk about her brilliant debut novel, Black Car Burning.  

Published to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, it is a novel about trust and trauma, fear and falling, and focuses on the relationship between two women set against the backdrop of urban Sheffield and the natural landscape of the Peak District. Black Car Burning refers to a notoriously difficult climb on Stanage which becomes an obsession for one of the women.

Charlotte Philby: The Most Difficult Thing
Saturday 26 October, 12.30 – 1.30pm
The Box, QUAD
£6
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A stylish and assured debut from the granddaughter of Kim Philby, Britain’s most famous communist double-agent, The Most Difficult Thing is set between London, the Maldives and the Greek islands and is an irresistible combination of espionage and domestic suspense.

On the surface, Anna Witherall personifies everything the aspirational magazine she works for represents. Married to her university boyfriend David, she has a beautiful home and gorgeous three-year-old twin daughters. But, beneath the veneer of success and happiness, Anna is hiding a dark secret. She finds herself drawn into the dark and highly controlled world of secret intelligence and is forced
to question her family’s safety, and her own.

Sofka Zinovieff and Emma Glass – Confronting #MeToo 
Saturday 26 October, 2.30 – 3.30pm
The Box, QUAD
£6
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We welcome two writers whose work tackles the themes of violence, rape and sexual grooming in two brave, hard hitting novels.

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff is described by The Guardian as ‘a Lolita for the age of #MeToo’ in which a woman reappraises her teenage relationship with an older man in an evocative novel about consent and the abuse of power.

Peach is Emma Glass’ extraordinary and powerful debut that looks at the aftermath of a rape, in which she articulates the unspeakable with breath-taking clarity and verve.

Kamal Ahmed: The Life and Times of a Very British Man
Saturday 26 October, 4.15 – 5.15pm
Sir John Hurt Cinema, QUAD
£10
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One of Britain’s most respected journalists, Kamal Ahmed grew up in London in the 1970s and explores what it means to be British as one of the first generation of mixed-race Brits.  His childhood was British in every way – except for the fact he was half English and half Sudanese.  

The Life and Times of a Very British Man is brutally honest, heartfelt, witty and profound. This is a modern state of the nation memoir from a man who adopted the name Neil while growing up (it was better than ‘camel’) and went on to occupy one of the most prestigious positions in the British establishment as Editorial Director at the BBC.

Nicci French
Saturday 26 October, 6.45 – 7.45pm
Sir John Hurt Cinema, QUAD
£8
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The first standalone novel in ten years from best-selling writing partnership Nicci French, The Lying Room was the subject of a ten-way UK publishing auction and much anticipated release. 

The hook of The Lying Room is chilling: a woman discovers the dead body of a man she knows and doesn’t tell a soul. Described as ‘a breathless psychological thriller which grabs you by the heart from the first page. The Lying Room confirms Nicci French as a giant of the genre, upon whose shoulders other writers stand.’ Erin Kelly 

David Barrie: Incredible Journeys: Exploring the wonders of animal navigation 
Sunday 27 October, 12noon – 1pm
Derby Museum & Art Gallery
£7
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Most of us are now so dependent on GPS that we are turning into navigational idiots!  How do our fellow creatures – large and small – find their way around?   Without the benefit of any tools, many animals undertake journeys that are truly astounding. 

David Barrie explores the many wonders (and outstanding mysteries) of animal navigation. He explains how animals make use of landmarks, the sun, moon and stars, magnetism, sounds and smells – as well as electric fields and polarised light. 

Barrie also raises profound questions about our changing relationship with the natural world. 

Sir Vince Cable
Sunday 27 October, 2 – 3pm
Sir John Hurt Cinema, QUAD
£11
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As we hover on the precipice of Brexit we welcome one of the UK’s most popular politicians, Sir Vince Cable MP.  Until recently Leader of the Liberal Democrats, his party has vociferously led the battle cry for Remain and we anticipate that no interview with him can avoid discussion of this prescient subject. 

Vince first became the MP for Twickenham in 1997 and was Business Secretary under the coalition government from 2010-2015.  He is known for his intelligent and honest approach to party politics and is - famously - a keen dancer!

He has published three critically acclaimed non-fiction books: Free Radical, The Storm, and After the Storm and one novel: Open Arms, an exhilarating political thriller which circles from Whitehall to the slums of Mumbai. 
 

Joanna Cannon: Breaking and Mending
Sunday 27 October, 4.30 – 5.30pm
Sir John Hurt Cinema, QUAD
£7
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Joanna Cannon is not only the author of two best-selling novels, but also a psychiatrist who has now written a powerful memoir of her time as a junior doctor.
 
We walk with her through the wards, facing extraordinary and daunting moments daily: from her first post-mortem to telling a patient she’s sorry. These moments teach her that emotional care and understanding mental health can be as critical as restoring a heartbeat. 

In a profession where weakness remains a taboo, this moving, candid and beautifully written book brings to life the vivid, human stories of doctors, patients and the hospital, and shows us why we need to take better care of those who care for us.
 

Raynor Winn: The Salt Path
Sunday 27 October, 6.30 – 7.30pm
Sir John Hurt Cinema, QUAD
£8
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Shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Biography Award and the Wainwright Gold Beer Book Prize, The Salt Path is one of those unpredictable publishing successes, defying categorisation but which readers press on each other.

Just days after the couple lose their home and their livelihood Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill.  With almost no money for food or shelter and little time, their reaction to disaster and looming tragedy was to walk the length of the 630-mile, sea-swept South West Coast Path.  

Their walk becomes a remarkable journey. The Salt Path is an unflinchingly honest, inspiring and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world.