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  • I have two events, both on Sunday 27 August, and the online festival programme is the place to go for an idea of what to expect: From 11.00 to 12.30 I'm doing a reading workshop: 'Novelist and non-fiction writer Richard Beard discusses W, Or the Memory of Childhood by Georges Perec. This semi-autobiographical work alternates between memoir and fiction, illustrated with photographs from Perec's childhood. It is a commentary on memories remembered, borrowed and interpreted later in life. Expect an open discussion from the start: you can either read the book ahead of the event or be inspired to pick it up afterwards.' There are, in fact, no photographs in Perec's book, but he describes his memory of photographs with

  • The Arvon Foundation is one of the great, perhaps the greatest, of UK Creative Writing institutions. I first went to Sheepwash to read in about 1997, and then taught my first course a year later with Andrew Cowan. If you don't know the set-up, about 15 writers get a residential week in a beautiful house and setting (there are two other centres in Shropshire and Yorkshire) while over the week a pair of more established writers offer up their insights about the craft and experience of writing. Half-way through, another writer visits to read, and this is what I'll be doing at Totleigh Barton on the 9th August. Our course is called Life Writing: Writing Family History, with Marina Benjamin

  • The Manchester Deansgate Waterstones is always a fantastic place to read, and many years ago I was half of a double-bill with the great Robert Stone. His novel Damascus Gate was published in the UK at about the same time, in 1998, as my novel Damascus. His book is set in Jerusalem and mine has nothing to do with the Middle East. He was a revered American novelist and I ... I was not. It seems fairly certain that someone in the shop had mixed up one Damascus with another, and we ended up in the same shop in Manchester on the same midweek night. Everyone was very polite and pretended it wasn't a mistake, including Robert Stone, who drank the Deansgate whiskey and grumbled wise sayings

  • "Curious is a festival like no other. Taking place each July in the breathtaking grounds of Pylewell Park, it is dreamy, eccentric, fun and ultimately, irresistible." More about the festival across the website but the amazing line-up of writers is here.

  • This piece was commissioned by the ILS as part of the 'Crossing Borders' series. To Live Outside the Law You Must be Honest An April bank holiday Monday, and I plan to go across the border somewhere in the south-west of England. I don’t know the exact place, but between Newbury and Bath the Kennet and Avon canal stretches fifty-odd miles over the English countryside. My border point will be the 60 foot narrowboat Eve, which has a continuous cruising licence, meaning that every fortnight it has to move. My friend Drusilla Marland, who lives on Eve, is hard to pin down... Read full text here.

  • This is a fantastic festival, and probably the only event for book-lovers where you can see Roman legionnaires riding on a Sherman tank. I'll be talking about the research for The Day That Went Missing, and how family history also counts as History. More details here.

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