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Political heavyweights throw hats in ring for literary festival

MPs Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman are just two of the high-profile names lined-up for the Dulwich Literary Festival next month.

From November 11-13, Dulwich College will play host to some of the leading names in politics, science, fiction and poetry, bringing them together for three days of debate and discussion.

Other leading names on the bill include award-winning journalist Ian Cobain and veteran Conservative cabinet member, Kenneth Clarke.

The festival’s theme is ‘The Way We Live Now’, inspired by Anthony Trollope’s novel on financial scan-dals and corruption. “When we pick the festival theme, we try to find subjects which we think our audience will be interested in,” said festival organiser Susie Nicklin.

Organised discussions for the weekend include, ‘Called to Account’, ‘Communal Living’ and the closing session ‘A Coalition of the Willing,’ headed by heavyweights Clegg and Clarke.

Trollope’s 1875 novel was penned after his return to England from Australia, upon which he was shocked at the corruption which had infiltrated public institutions.

“In 2016, it seems fitting to re-examine Trollope’s expose of British society, rich in satire and drama, and to compare and contrast it to how we live today,” said Susie, owner of Dulwich Books.

Although the festival is tackling some serious themes, Susie also highlights that there’ll be plenty of fun for the little ones too. “We have a Harry Potter-themed afternoon for kids, where they can attend a lesson in the magic lab.”

Children’s author Katherine Woodfine will also be running writing workshops for children.

“South London has a really fabulous audience for this kind of thing,” said Susie. “There is a real hunger here to hear from writers”.

Margaret Hodge, joined by Harriet Harman, will be discussing the theme of her book Called to Account, which examines how money needed for public services is often misspent.

Festival events will mainly take place in Dulwich College. Tickets can be booked online or by visiting Dulwich Books in Croxted Road.


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