Although this year’s Marlborough LitFest will not take place in its usual form due to Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 Big Town Read will be going ahead as the key festival event. Platform Seven, the latest novel by bestselling author Louise Doughty, is Marlborough LitFest’s Big Town Read choice.
Louise Doughty, who was due to come to Marlborough for the festival, will be interviewed online by broadcaster, journalist and regular LitFest chair Alex Clark on 26 September at 6pm. The audience will be able to put questions to Louise.
Louise Doughty is the bestselling author of nine novels. Her previous novel was the top 5 bestseller Apple Tree Yard, which was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club, shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards Crime & Thriller of the Year and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, longlisted for the Guardian‘s Not the Booker Prize, and translated into over twenty languages.
The novel was also turned into a successful television adaptation. She has won awards for radio drama and short stories; she is a critic and cultural commentator for UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly for the BBC.
Launched in 2013, the annual LitFest Big Town Read has become a firm festival favourite with both local book groups and individuals as the LitFest, with the support of the local library, encourages everyone to read the same book ahead of the author appearing at the festival.
Copies of Platform Seven can be bought at The White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough. Wiltshire Libraries are also supporting the Big Town Read and have 100 copies of the eAudiobook available as well as several copies of the eBook.
To find out more about registering with RBdigital to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks, please click here . Don’t despair if you can only ‘hold’ for the eBook as more can be released if there is a waiting list. Print copies of the book will also be available but Wiltshire Libraries are taking a phased approach to re-opening their libraries in order to follow all safety guidelines.
Genevieve Clarke, Chair of Marlborough LitFest said: “This will be a first for us – a virtual Big Town Read which we’re offering free so that our audience in Marlborough and far beyond can join in. Louise has been to the LitFest before and is now very used to doing online sessions with the support of her publisher Faber & Faber. We hope that as many people as possible read and talk about Platform Seven in advance so that they’re ready with their questions for the author. It should be a sparky event.”
Details of how to register for the online session with Louise Doughty on 26 September will be released in September.
Previous Big Town Read authors have included Laline Paull, Sathnam Sanghera, Jackie Kay, Rachel Joyce and Raynor Winn.
Hilary Mantel said of Platform Seven that “Louise Doughty leads her unnerved readers into dark territory.” Author Deborah Moggach said: “Utterly mesmerizing, with the pace of a thriller and a sense of profound mystery in the most ordinary of
settings. I was hooked from its start to its nerve-racking, surprising finish.”
The 2020 LitFest’s outreach programme will continue. There will be activities for the community – mainly online, with free author talks for local primary schools as well as competitions for all ages. The festival will return in 2021 from 30 September – 3 October.