Students Staff

04 April 2012

Festival a hit with book lovers

Jodi Picoult at the Essex Book Festival

Book lovers enjoyed hearing leading authors discuss their work through the University-backed Essex Book Festival with events held at all three campuses plus venues across the county.

Award-winning author Jodi Picoult provided the fitting finale to the month-long festival as part of her UK tour. She talked about her new novel, Lone Wolf, in front of an audience of close to 400 at the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall. One of the central characters in the book is an expert on wolves so Jodi showed members of the audience how to howl like an alpha wolf.

She said: "'I want to say thank you to the Essex Book Festival and the University of Essex for inviting me to speak. All I can say is that you have terrific howlers in Colchester! I had fun and I hope the audience all did too, and that they enjoy Lone Wolf."  

The festival featured a number of speakers linked to the University including Professor Peter Holman who gave this year’s Burrows Lecture on the eighteenth-century music scene in Colchester plus leading writers from the Centre for Creative Writing in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies,Department of Psychology and School of Biological Sciences.

Those taking part in the festival included Dr Kevin Dutton, Dr Adrian May, Dr Philip Terry, Professor Jules Pretty, Dr Alison Rowlands and Professor Marina Warner.

Professor Jules Pretty, who gave a festival talk at the Southend Campus about his book This Luminous Coast, said: “The profile of the Essex Book Festival is becoming more national year on year, bringing many benefits to the people of the county.”

Author and historian, Dr Kate Williams also spoke at the festival about her first novel, The Pleasures of Men, at Loughton Campus. She said: "The Festival is a wonderful opportunity to meet readers. I had fantastic questions from Alison Rowlands, Head of the History Department, and enjoyed every minute".

The Essex Book Festival is a month-long annual celebration of literature which takes place across the county during March. Operated by an independent trust, the Festival is supported by the Arts Council England, Essex County Council and the University of Essex.

Belinda Farrell who managed the Essex Book Festival this year, said: “We are enormously grateful for the huge support the Essex Book Festival has had from the University of Essex, as a supporting partner and also for arranging a variety of really interesting events.”

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