Sir Michael Morpurgo takes centre stage for Clapham Book Festival

Sir Michael Morpurgo will make an appearance at Clapham Book Festival at 6pm on Saturday at the Omnibus Theatre.

The former children’s laureate and multi-award winner is set to talk about his latest book: When Fishes Flew: The Story of Elena’s War as well as his most famous work War Horse

Julie Anderson, writer, Chair of Trustees of Clapham Writers and co-founder of the Clapham Book Festival said: “It’s hugely important for a small festival like ours, run entirely by volunteers, to attract the very best of writers to speak with our audience.

“Sir Michael Morpurgo is an inspiration to younger readers and has already created stories which have become modern classics, like War Horse and Kensuke’s Kingdom, quite aside from his work on music and with Farms for City Children.

“So we’re delighted to be able to present him in conversation with local best-selling author, Elizabeth Buchan.”

The jam-packed festival, which was inaugurated in 2016, is back after a year absence due to COVID-19 and it is set to be the most innovative festival yet with new activities and big name writers.

Anderson, a crime thriller writer, will start off the festival by leading a literary trail on Clapham Common.

A second walk will take place at 3:30pm and is led by award-winning novelist Annemarie Neary whose latest book The Orphans is a psychological thriller set on Clapham Common. 

Paula Johnson, associate director for the Royal Society of Literature and programme coordinator backed the concept of a guided tour on Clapham Common.

She said: “Clapham has a long and illustrious literary history and this is a unique way of exploring it.” 

Famous writers have long been associated with the common, including Samuel Pepys who resided on Cedars Road and John Walter, founder of the Times who lived at 113 Clapham Common North Side.

The novelist William Thackeray, after visiting the area, wrote in the Newcomers: “Of all the pretty suburbs that adorn our metropolis there are few that exceed in charm Clapham Common.”

CLAPHAM BOOK FESTIVAL: Line-up of writers set to appear at these years festival. Image Credit: Clapham Book Festival

The event will also include a live discussion with radio 4 presenter Edward Stourton, who will talk about his career in broadcasting with local writer and BAFTA-winning broadcaster, Simon Berthon.

Then, on the 19th October there is an online interview with Brixton author Rosanna Amaka whose debut novel The Book of Echoes, was listed for the Royal Society of Literature Christopher Bland Prize.

The festival finishes on Tuesday 2nd November with a talk by Ben Macintyre over zoom on his latest book Agent Sonya, a biography of Ursula Kuszynski a famous spy of the 20th century.

Anderson added: “Clapham Writers believes that books change lives and we invite the residents of south London to celebrate books and reading with us.”

Tickets are still available for most of the events and can be found online.

Featured image credit: Ian Martindale via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 license

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