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What’s on at Manchester Literature Festival 2017

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By Emily Oldfield

To start 2017, Manchester Literature Festival (MLF) is inviting a number of authors of worldwide acclaim to Manchester, with the chance for the public to watch them read and discuss their work.

Waterstones Deansgate will also welcome Man Booker Prize shortlisted author Mohsin Hamid on Monday 27th February. Starting at 7pm, Hamid will discuss his novels including How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the latter receiving the Booker Prize nomination and also being adapted into a film. The author will also discuss his upcoming novel Exit West with Co-director of the Centre for New Writing John McAuliffe. Due to be published in March, the novel follows a couple forced to flee their ravaged city – a hard-hitting exploration of migration and loss.

Hamid was born in Lahore, India where he has spent about half his life, going on to live in other cities including London, New York and California. Translated into thirty five languages to date, his work crosses borders and emphasizes the importance of striving for a better future.

Award-winning poet Simon Armitage will then pay a visit in March, with an evening session at a nearly sold-out Dancehouse on Monday 6th March from 7.30pm onwards. Armitage won’t be dancing, however… the event marks the launch of his new volume of poems The Unaccompanied. Set against a backdrop of economic recession and social tension, Armitage’s latest collection is expected to be especially powerful – and for £24 you can buy a ticket for the evening along with a copy of The Unaccompanied, or starting at £10 for standard entry.

With 11 collections of poetry, numerous works of non-fiction and two novels under his belt, Armitage is a prolific writer, born in West Yorkshire. He started out studying geography (one of his first pamphlets is called Human Geography) before becoming a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester and working as a probation officer in Greater Manchester until 1994. He has written a number of poems about the North, including a verse about Luddenden Foot, which gives some attention to an oddly-named Yorkshire town.

There’s no excuse for missing out on a literary start to 2017. The festival has been providing quality live literature across the city since 2006, and seems to get bigger and better every year. For more information, visit the Manchester Literature Festival website.





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