Manchester Literature Festival welcomes three brilliant writers to the city this Spring setting the tone for a celebration of the power of words in 2024

Percival Everett in Conversation, 10 April 2024, 7pm, Central Library

‘With my pencil, I wrote myself into being.’ Everett’s forthcoming novel James is a retelling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in which the enslaved Jim is allowed to tell his story for the first time. While journeying down the Mississippi with Huck, Jim has a series of adventures and encounters. Often terrifying but hilariously recounted, they highlight the absurdity of white superiority and the ways in which Jim has been forced to hide his true intellect and abilities. Percival is the author of over thirty books, including The Trees which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. Erasure has been adapted into the Oscar-nominated film American Fiction.

Presented in partnership with the Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester.

David Nicholls in Conversation, 22 April 2024, 7pm, Central Library

One of the UK’s best loved authors returns to Manchester to discuss his witty and engrossing new novel You Are Here,  the story of two lonely people. Thirty-eight-year-old Marnie and forty-two-year-old Michael, battered by break-ups and the loss of the futures they’d hoped for are brought together by a mutual friend. When they embark on the Coast to Coast walk they are reminded how to open up to new people, how to have fun in sometimes arduous conditions, and, ultimately, how to love.

David is the best-selling author of five previous novels including Starter for Ten, which has recently been turned into a musical, and One Day, which has been adapted into a new Netflix series. His screenplay of Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels won a BAFTA for Best Writer and was nominated for an Emmy.

Presented in partnership with the Centre for New Writing, Creative Manchester and Waterstones Deansgate.

Olivia Laing: The Garden Against Time, 10 May 2024, 7pm, Central Library 

‘A garden is a time capsule, as well as a portal out of time.’ A compelling new work of non-fiction The Garden Against Time, brings to life her own slice of paradise: the restoration of a garden designed by Mark Rumary of Notcutts. Alongside her own endeavours, Olivia explores the idea of paradise and gardens, real and imagined, through the work of John Milton, John Clare, W.G. Sebald, Derek Jarman, William Morris and many others. She considers how gardens are political and how these slices of Eden survive war and bring joy during difficult times. A widely acclaimed author and critic, she is the author of seven books including The Lonely City, Everybody and Funny Weather. Her first novel, Crudo, was a Sunday Times bestseller and won the 2019 James Tait Memorial Prize. In 2018 she was awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction.

Presented in partnership with the Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester.

World Book Day and The 100 Story Hotel

In March, the Festival joins forces with Z-arts to celebrate World Book Day, (Wednesday 6 March). Best-selling and award-winning author Rob Biddulph will lead two workshops which are free for Greater Manchester schools. Rob’s latest book, Charlie McGrew, is the official £1 book for World Book Day. This is a unique chance to meet Rob, listen to a story and see him draw. Any schools unable attend will be able to access a free interactive film and digital resources.

The Festival is also working in partnership with Z-arts on The 100 Story Hotel: an interactive world of play and storytelling created by Rob and Discover Story Centre, which opens its doors on Wednesday 21 February.

To book

Tickets are on sale for MLF Members from Wednesday 14 February and on general sale on Friday 16 February. 


To buy an MLF Get Closer Membership and book advance tickets visit :


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