Annie Mac to open Queen's Park Book Festival 2021

Queen's Park Book Festival returns

Queen's Park Book Festival 2019 - Credit: QPBF

The Queen’s Park Book Festival is back with some big names including Annie Mac and Richard Coles – and free tickets for all Brent's sixth form students.

On September 18 and 19, the festival will showcase a line-up of literary talent, bringing together local talent, household names and the most sought-after new writers.

Audience at Queen's Park Book Festival. PIcture: QPBF

Audience at Queen's Park Book Festival. PIcture: QPBF - Credit: Archant

Now in it's third year it was due to take place last summer but the pandemic put a stop to that.

For the first time, the festival will host an evening celebration on Saturday night, with music and a late bar.

The festival will host a lively evening celebration with music and a late bar.

The festival will host a lively evening celebration with music and a late bar. - Credit: Cathy Teesdale

Queen’s Park Book Festival director Thomas du Plessis said: "Creating this year's festival has been an absolute joy and I am delighted to share it with our audiences once again.

"Never before has there been such an urgent and vital need to gather together and experience the sheer delight and variety of live literary arts in our beautiful park."


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Opening the festival on the Saturday is Queen’s Park resident and internationally renowned DJ and broadcaster Annie Macmanus, discussing her life, work and Sunday Times Bestselling debut novel, Mother Mother. 

Annie Mac

Annie Mac - Credit: QPBF

The day will include a special appearance from The Reverend Richard Coles: one half of 1980s rock band The Communards, now vicar in a parish in Northamptonshire, whose husband David Oldham died in 2019. 

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He will be in conversation with the Orange Prize winning novelist Linda Grant, talking about his book The Madness of Grief.

Linda Grant returns to the stage on Sunday to be in conversation with Alexandra Shulman, former editor-in-chief of British Vogue and vice president of the London Library, whose memoir, Clothes: And Other Things That Matter, interweaves fashion and social history.

Alexandra Shulman

Alexandra Shulman will chat about her memoir, Clothes: And Other Things That Matter with Linda Grant - Credit: QPBF

Other authors include Anita Sethi (I Belong Here) and Ingrid Persaud (Love after Love) Madeleine Bunting, (Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care) and David Goodhart, (Head Hand Heart).

First appearing at the festival in 2018, Willesden author Yvonne Bailey-Smith returns in triumph this year with her debut novel The Day I Fell Off My Island.

Yvonne Bailey-Smith

Yvonne Bailey-Smith - Credit: Archant

Yvonne will join the Queen’s Park Community Tent once again, this time in conversation with writer, editor and literary critic Margaret Busby CBE – celebrated as Britain’s first black female publisher and chair of judges for the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction.

Following the success of their event at the 2019 festival, when John Mullan interviewed Howard Jacobson about his novel Live A Little, the tables will be turned for 2021. Howard will interview John about his new book The Artful Dickens. 

Howard Jacobson & John Mullan in conversation at the Queen's Park Book Festival 2019

Howard Jacobson & John Mullan in conversation at the Queen's Park Book Festival 2019 - Credit: QPBF

Audience members will learn how readers are reeled in by attending a session titles "How to judge a book by its cover: a masterclass in design".

Roy Mehta, who walked the borough's streets from 1989 to 1993 with his camera, will talk about his exploration of Brent’s rich history of multiculturalism.

The free Queen’s Park Community Tent has been awarded funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Queen's Park Book Festival is a fully inclusive event

The Queen's Park Book Festival is a fully inclusive event - Credit: QPBF

The venue has previously been a platform for local refugees, elderly residents, young poets and emerging authors.

 Queen’s Park Book Festival is a Culture Fund partner with Brent 2020, the London Borough of Culture, which has been extended into 2021.

Hugh Pym, Simon Mayo and Hud Saunders with writing award winners Ibrahim Fida and Marcus Denny. Pict

Hugh Pym, Simon Mayo and Hud Saunders with writing award winners Ibrahim Fida and Marcus Denny. Picture: Cathy Teesdale - Credit: Archant

As part of the collaboration, all sixth form students in Brent will be offered free weekend passes to the festival this year.

Thomas added: "I cannot wait to welcome everyone in September, for what promises to be a very special weekend in Queen's Park."

Day pass: £20.00 (Early bird day pass: £18.00)
Weekend pass: £36.00 (Early bird weekend pass: £34.00)

Tickets are available via queensparkbookfestival.co.uk or from Queen’s Park Books, in Salusbury Road.

For more information visit: https://queensparkbookfestival.co.uk/

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