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First glimpse at Cheltenham Festival 2014 line-up

Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood and Hilary Mantel are among the first big names announced for this year's The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Posted on 23rd June 2014 by Waterstones


Waterstones and Salman Rushdie


The first list of speakers have been announced for this year's The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.



Double Man Booker winning author Hilary Mantel leads a line-up of literary legends which also include Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Howard Jacobson, Richard Ford, Nathan Filer, David Nicholls, Rose Tremain, Edward St Aubyn, Colm Toíbín and David Mitchell.

There is also set to be a rare appearance by Martin Amis - who will travel from his home in New York to discuss his upcoming novel The Zone of Interest, as well as the life of his late stepmother Elizabeth Jane Howard.

PEN/Pinter prize winner Salman Rushdie will return to Cheltenham this year, whilst Kazuo Ishiguro will be visiting to receive The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence.

The festival will also celebrate new writing from both familiar names, with talks from journalists turned first-time novelists Caitlin Moran and Andrew Marr, and debut writers as the Sunday Times launches its "Must Read" platform with events featuring Emma Healey (Elizabeth is Missing) and Nathan Filer (author of Costa Book of the Year winning The Shock of the Fall). A new daily event, Fiction at 6, will also see debut authors introducing their novels to audiences over a glass of wine in an informal setting.

Crime fiction fans will find plenty to enjoy this year - with Val McDermidIan Rankin and Ruth Rendell all on hand to discuss their latest books, whilst Natalie Young will be talking about the rise of "The Rise of the Domestic Thriller" and her novel Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband. A highlight will no doubt be Festival Guest Director Sophie Hannah as she launches her much anticipated new Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders at the festival.


Current Affairs

Festival Guest Director, prominent human rights lawyer and Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti will discuss Britain's wars and "Policing the Police" with General Lord David Richards and Baroness Doreen LawrenceAmit Chaudhuri will be exploring the evolving relationship between the states of India and Pakistan in events featuring Kamila Shamsie and Mark Tully, and there are also set to be talks from BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner and author and political activist Naomi Klein.



In a landmark interview on the 60th anniversary of his four-minute mile, Roger Bannister will discuss his life and achievements with Matthew Syed. Other sports stars currently announced to appear at this year's festival include Sol Campbell, Geoffrey Boycott and Gareth Thomas.




Waterstones Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, former laureates Anthony Browne and Michael Morpurgo, and current Irish Children’s Laureate Eoin Colfer lead a star studded Children's events programme. Dyslexia awareness campaigner Henry "The Fonz" Winkler, will be appearing for a family event based around his series Hank Zipzer, the World's Greatest Underachiever, and there will be talks from many other familiar faces including Judith KerrJohn Boyne, Michael Grant, Liz Pichon and Benjamin Zephaniah.


The Big Read

This year's Big Read title has been announced as Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. The perennial favourite form Gloucestershire's most famous literary son will be the subject of discussion by Michael MorpurgoChris Stewart and Joanna Trollope whilst the author's daughter Jessy Lee will present a talk about her father's work. There'll also be a guided nature tour along the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Laurie Lee Wildlife Walk.


Hungry for more?

If all of this has whet your appetite, then the lunch event announced from Moro’s Sam and Sam Clark celebrating the food of Spain will no doubt push you over the edge.


The full programme will be available online at cheltenhamfestivals.com from Saturday, August 9.

Tickets go on sale on Monday, 1st September but Waterstones Cardholders will get priority booking on Friday 29th August - sign up for a Waterstones Card to receive an email invitation on the day

You can sign up at  cheltenhamfestivals.com to receive programme updates.