Marlborough LitFest, (29 September – 2 October, 2022) is delighted to announce literary icon and novelist, Ali Smith, as its headline Golding Speaker. The author will be appearing at LitFest on Friday 30 September at Marlborough Town Hall, to talk about her latest book, Companion Piece.
The award-winning Ali Smith has had a prolific career as the author of many works of fiction, including most recently her Man-Booker shortlisted Seasonal quartet of novels: Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn. Her work has been shortlisted four times for the Man Booker Prize, twice shortlisted for the Orange Prize, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize, as well as winning the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel of the Year Award.
Ali Smith’s new novel, Companion Piece, is a celebration of companionship in all its timeless and contemporary, legendary, spellbinding and shapeshifting forms. It follows the unique achievement of her Seasonal cycle of novels – Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer – written and published in as close as possible to real time, between 2016 and 2020, absorbing and refracting the times we are living through: the ‘state-of-the-nation novels which understand that the nation is you, is me, is all of us’ (New Statesman). According to the Observer, ‘Ali Smith is lighting us a path out of the nightmarish now.’
Marlborough LitFest hosts an annual Golding Speaker to highlight the town’s long connection with the Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize winner, William Golding, at an event sponsored by the William Golding estate. Past Golding Speakers include Elif Shafak, Ben Okri, Rose Tremain, Will Self, Lionel Shriver, Louis de Bernieres, Fay Weldon and Howard Jacobson.
The estate of William Golding has been involved with the festival since 2012. Judy Carver, daughter of William Golding, said: “It’s very welcome news that Ali Smith has agreed to be the Golding Speaker for 2022’s Marlborough LitFest. An inventive, fresh, funny and profound writer – adept at producing the unexpected. An absolute treat.”
Highlights from last year’s LitFest can be seen on the new video of the 2021 festival, which was a hybrid live and online event due to Covid restrictions. Local creative video agency, StreamWorks, delivered high quality livestreaming throughout the 2021 festival and created the video to give a flavour of the festival to both new and old audiences.
Genevieve Clarke, Chair of MarlboroughLitFest said: “Putting on a hybrid festival in 2021 was a steep learning curve but we were thrilled that it worked so well. It also gave us the chance to make a short film to remind everyone of the rich mix of authors who delighted our audience in Marlborough last year. We hope you enjoy it.”
This year’s festival will feature a varied programme of events for all ages including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and the annual Big Town Read. The festival aims to champion new, upcoming writers as well as established names and also to encourage a love of reading in children and young people with author talks, competitions and an ongoing community outreach programme. The full programme will be available in the summer. For more information, click here