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Discover Brilliant Women of the North at Durham Book Festival

Durham Book Festival
What's on
September 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

Durham Book Festival returns for a bustling long weekend from 13th-15th October, where bestselling authors, home-grown talent and leading thinkers will be discussing their work

Must-see events in this year's programme include everyone's favourite food critic Grace Dent (Friday 13th October) on the foods we turn to behind closed doors - deeply personal, steeped in nostalgia and topped with a healthy dollop of guilty pleasure. Grace promises to take us on a delicious, foodie journey from her school days growing up in Carlisle to the celebrity guests she's interviewed on her Comfort Eating podcast.

Why do stories of the ancient world continue to ignite our interest? What can they tell us about contemporary society? Durham University classicist Edith Hall and Yorkshire-based Jennifer Saint, the bestselling author of Ariadne, Elektra and most recently Atalanta, will explore the enduring attraction of the genre in The Power of the Classics (Saturday 14th October).

Internationally celebrated writer Jeanette Winterson’s books include her debut novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and the bestselling memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Her latest work, Night Side of the River, is a masterful collection of modern ghost stories, perfect for setting the tone for the darker autumn nights (Saturday 14th October).

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Helen Rebanks, wife of The Shepherd’s Life author James Rebanks, will be speaking up for all the women who hold things together as she shares her first book, The Farmer’s Wife (Sunday 15th October). Part memoir, part recipe book, part guide to family life, Helen offers a glimpse behind the scenes of small-scale farming on her Lake District farm and invites us all to consider where the food on our dinner table comes from, and who puts it there.

Melanie Sykes (Sunday 15th October) has been a well-known television and radio broadcaster for nearly 30 years, but behind the scenes was a life unseen. Aged 51 she finally received a diagnosis of autism. In her Durham Book Festival event, she will lift the lid on being a woman in the media, navigating relationships, and being a neurodivergent person speaking up in a neurotypical world.

The festival takes place in central Durham between Gala Durham, Clayport Library and Collected Books. All Gala Durham events are also available to livestream. Find the full programme here

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