Alexander McCall Smith
‘THE LIFE AND WORKS OF ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH’
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 20.00 – 21.30
Sponsored by Appleby
Join one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors Alexander McCall Smith as he talks about his life and work, at an event kindly sponsored by Appleby.
McCall Smith worked as a professor of medical law before turning his hand to writing. Publication of his The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series turned him into a household name and allowed him to devote his time to writing. The series has sold more than 20 million copies in English alone, and his books have been translated into 46 languages and have topped bestseller lists around the globe. He is also author of the popular 44 Scotland Street novels, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the von Igfeld series and other standalone novels and works of non-fiction.
The sheer volume of his work – four or five new books a year – makes McCall Smith stand out, as does the dry humour and gentle humanity the books contain. His latest works include Precious and Grace, the 17th book in The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series; A Distant View of Everything, eleventh in the Isabel Dalhousie series; and The Sands of Shark Island, the second book in the School Ship Tobermory series for younger readers.
EVENT SPONSORED BY
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / SATURDAY SEPT 30th / 10.00 – 11.00
JERSEY LIBRARY / TIME TBC / CHARLIE AND LOLA STORY TIME WITH HEATHER BURTON + BOOK SIGNING
Newly-appointed Children’s Laureate Lauren Child is a multi-award-winning, bestselling writer and artist. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola.
Her first two books were published in 1999 – I Want a Pet and Clarice Bean, That’s Me, and she won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal in 2000 for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, the first of her Charlie and Lola picture books. Lauren published her first Clarice Bean novel in 2002 – Utterly Me, Clarice Bean. The Clarice Bean series has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.
In October 2005, the BBC launched a 78-part animated series of Charlie and Lola. The series has won four BAFTAS and is aired in more than 34 countries.
In 2008 Lauren launched UNESCO’s ‘My Life is a Story’ Campaign for UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need, and was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2008.
In 2010 she was awarded an MBE for Services to Literature.
Lauren is an international ambassador for the excellence of UK illustration: she’s been at the forefront of innovation for 15 years and has raised the profile of illustration as a sophisticated art form for all ages. She works with mixed media, pioneered text as an integral part of illustration and collaborates with artists across different fields. She is a trustee of the recently-formed House of Illustration.
Lauren is also a passionate advocate for visual literacy and the importance of quality picture books for children.
The latest Charlie and Lola book, One Thing, published in paperback Autumn 2016 focuses on the joy of numeracy and its importance in art and music. A new Charlie and Lola picture book will be published in October 2017.
Ruby Redfort #6 Blink and You Die , the final book in the series is published in October 2016.
During this event – suitable for 7+ – Lauren will be reading from her new picture book The Dog With Nice Ears and discussing the creative processes behind her work.
‘The Racehorse Who Disappeared’
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / FRIDAY 29th SEPT / 12.00 – 14.00 / (RECOMMENDED KS2)
Sponsored by Santander International
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 16.00 – 17.15
Flora Mackie was twelve when she first crossed the Arctic Circle on her father’s whaling ship. Now she is returning to the frozen seas as the head of her own exploration expedition. Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan, but his yearning for new horizons leads him to the Arctic as part of a rival expedition.
When he and Flora meet, all thoughts of science and exploration give way before a sudden, all-consuming love. The affair survives the growing tensions between the two groups, but then, after one more glorious summer on the Greenland coast, Jakob joins his leader on an extended trip into the interior, with devastating results. The stark beauty of the Arctic ocean, where pack ice can crush a ship like an eggshell, and the empty sweep of the tundra, alternately a snow-muffled wasteland and an unexpectedly gentle meadow, are vividly evoked.
Against this backdrop Penney weaves an irresistible love story, a compelling look at the dark side of the golden age of exploration, and a mystery that Flora, returning one last time to the North Pole as an old woman, will finally lay to rest. An epic historical novel from the author of the Costa-winning The Tenderness of Wolves.
‘A terrific and beautifully written yarn that will make readers yearn to travel and fall in love in a cold climate.’ The Times
Stef Penney grew up in Edinburgh. She has degrees in Philosophy and Theology and Film and TV, and was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme and has since written and directed two short films. She is the author of The Tenderness of Wolves and The Invisible Ones.
For this event Stef Penney will be joined by Jane Menczer (An Unlikely Agent) for a panel discussion on writing pioneering female protagonists.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies
JERSEY ARTS CENTRE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 11.00
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.
At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.
In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit. Interviewing John Boyne will be Andy Davey.
NB: Please note that some of the content discussed at this event will not be suitable for children.
About the Author
John Boyne was born in Dublin in 1971, and studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwhich, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown Prize. He now offers a scholarship to Irish students undertaking the AM programme at UEW.
He has published nine novels for adults and five for younger readers, including The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which was a New York Times No.1 Bestseller and was made into a movie by Miramax. It has sold more than six million copies worldwide.
ARTS CENTRE / SATURDAY 30th SEPT / 15.30 – 16.30
How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?
There are two types of people in the world. Those who can only remember yesterday, and those who can also recall the day before. You have just one lifeline to the past: your diary. Each night, you write down the things that matter. Each morning, your diary tells you where you were, who you loved and what you did.
Today, the police are at your door. They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago. Can you trust the police? Can you trust your husband? Can you trust yourself?
Felicia Yap’s novel Yesterday is set to be the most talked-about thriller of 2017. A beautifully written psychological drama which taps into our innermost fears concerning identity, memory and love.
Felicia will be joining novelist Miranda Doyle, JEP photographer Peter Mourant and guest chair Naomi Frisby for a panel discussion on self-curating and ‘fake news’.
20 Years of Harry Potter Magic
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / SAT 30th SEPTEMBER / 12.00 – 1300
Boy. Wizard. Hero. Celebrating 20 Years of Harry Potter Magic
Celebrate twenty years of Harry Potter magic with this fun and interactive event!
Explore the four Houses at Hogwarts with Fleurble Laffalot. Discover fun facts about the first Harry Potter books as well taking part in some of the key elements of life at Hogwarts – the sorting ceremony, Quidditch, potions class and much more.
A family friendly event for anyone who has ever wanted to explore the magical world of the Harry Potter books. Free bookmarks and door hangers for all who attend!
Star Wars, Space Opera and the Art of Valerian and Laureline
JERSEY LIBRARY / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 17.30
Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézieres’ science fiction series Valérian and Laureline is one of the most influential French comics of all time. It originally started its run in the late 1960s, and the series’ second story The Empire of a Thousand Planets illustrates how it has provided many visual cues for George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise. The inspiration doesn’t stop at the visuals but also the universe and key elements of of George Lucas saga, as Stefan’s talk will demonstrate.
Valérian and Laureline also had an especially significant effect on Luc Besson. The director used its influence to craft the world of the hugely successful The Fifth Element (Mézieres, the visual artist who draws the comic, even did the early concept art), and has just finished directing an adaptation of the comics that is the most expensive French film ever made.
The Valerian and Laureline saga is still going on strong with 50 years, 24 episodes and more than 2.5 millions books sold worldwide. Join Stefan for a discussion on this, and the amazing world of French/Belgian science-fiction comics of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Star Wars costumes optional!
The Other Half of Happiness
JERSEY ARTS CENTRE / SUNDAY 1st OCTOBER / 14.00 – 15.00
Sofia Khan is just married. But no one told her life was going to be this way . . .
Her living situation is in dire straits, her husband Conall is distant, and his annoyingly attractive colleague is ringing all sorts of alarm bells.
When her mother forces them into a belated wedding ceremony (elopement: you can run, but you can’t hide), Sofia wonders if it might be a chance to bring them together. But when it forces Conall to confess his darkest secret, it might just tear them apart.
A book to make you smile, laugh and cry, this is the story of a mixed-race marriage and a mixed-up family, for anyone who’s ever struggled to balance their pride with their principles, or stuck around to try to mend a broken heart.
Ayisha Malik holds a BA in English Literature and Sociology, and a First Class MA in Creative Writing. She worked at Penguin Random House before moving to Cornerstones where she was managing editor for five years. Her debut novel, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged (Twenty7), was met with great critical acclaim and was a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick in 2016. The book has also been optioned for TV. The sequel, The Other Half of Happiness (Zaffre), is out April 2017. Ayisha is also the ghost writer for Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain’s book, The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters (Harlequin). She is now a full-time writer and is working on her third novel, as well as Nadiya’s second book.
I Have No Secrets
JERSEY COLLEGE FOR GIRLS / 12.00 – 13.30 / THURSDAY 28th SEPT / (RECOMMENDED KS3)
Sponsored by Santander International
Jemma knows who did the murder. She knows because he told her. And she can’t tell anyone. Fourteen-year-old Jemma has severe cerebral palsy. Unable to communicate or move, she relies on her family and carer for everything. She has a sharp brain and inquisitive nature, and knows all sorts of things about everyone.
But when she is confronted with this terrible secret, she is utterly powerless to do anything. Though that might be about to change… A page-turning thriller seen through the young adult readers. Perfect for fans of Wonder, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and Looking for JJ.
Penny Joelson was born in London where she still lives with her husband and two children. She began working with disabled people when she was a teenager, which gave her inspiration for this novel and its insights. Penny runs ‘Creative Writing for Children’ workshops at City Lit and is currently working on her next novel.
Greg James and Chris Smith
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / SAT 30th SEPT / 14.00-15.00
Sponsored by Appleby
Kid Normal is the debut children’s book by Radio 1 presenters Greg James and Chris Smith. Kid Normal tells the story of Murph Cooper. When he rocks up to his new school several weeks into the beginning of term, he can’t help but feel a bit out of his depth. And it’s not because he’s worried about where to sit, and making friends, and fitting in, or not knowing where the loos are. It’s because his mum has enrolled him at a school for superheroes by mistake.
And unlike his fellow students, who can all control the weather or fly or conjure tiny horses from thin air, Murph has no special abilities whatsoever. But just because you don’t have superpowers, it doesn’t mean you can’t save the day. Let’s hope Murph realises that, and quick – because not far away is a great big bad guy who is half man and half wasp, and his mind is abuzz with evil plans …
Get set for an hugely entertaining and interactive event, kindly sponsored by Appleby, that explores our preconceptions of superheroes and villains.
An Unlikely Agent
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 16.00 – 17.15
London, 1905. Margaret Trant lives with her ailing, irascible mother in a dreary boarding house in St John’s Wood. The pair have fallen on hard times, with only Margaret’s meagre salary from a ramshackle import-export company keeping them afloat.
When a stranger on the tram hands her a newspaper open at the recruitment page, Margaret spots an advertisement that promises to ‘open new horizons beyond your wildest dreams!’. After a gruelling interview, she finds herself in a new position as a secretary in a dingy backstreet shop.
But all is not as it seems; she is in fact working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, Bureau 8, whose mission is to track down and neutralise a ruthless band of anarchists known as The Scorpions. Margaret’s guilty love of detective fiction scarcely prepares her for the reality of true criminality, and her journey of self-discovery forms the heart of this remarkable novel, as she discovers in herself resourcefulness, courage, independence and the first stirrings of love.
‘An enthralling Edwardian espionage thriller featuring an endearing, independent female lead and lashings of intrigue… Fuelled by the heroine’s immense appeal, and the flawless plotting, this is an engrossing read… and I rather hope this gifted debut novelist dishes up more detective delights in the very near future’ – LoveReading.co.uk
Jane Menczer was born in Winchester and now lives in Cambridge. She has worked in a West End theatre, as a nanny, as a waitress, and as a bookseller. Working with Germaine Greer on her dissertation awakened an interest in all the talented and heroic women from other eras who have been overlooked or forgotten, and directly influenced the creation of the character of Miss Trant.
For this event Jane Menczer will be joined by Stef Penney (Under a Pole Star) for a panel discussion on writing pioneering female protagonists.
A Book of Untruths
JERSEY ARTS CENTRE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 15.00 – 16.00
Miranda Doyle’s A Book of Untruths is a family story told through a series of lies. Each short chapter features one of these lies and each lie builds to form a picture of a life— Miranda Doyle’s life as she struggles to understand her complicated family and her own place within it. This is a book about love, family and marriage. It is about the fallibility of human beings and the terrible things we do to one another. It is about the ways we get at—or avoid—the truth. And it is about storytelling itself: how we build a sense of ourselves and our place in the world. A Book of Untruths is a surprising, shocking and invigorating book that edges towards the truth through an engagement with falsehood. It brings questions to its readers; not answers.
‘Extraordinary. A Book of Untruths combines a painfully frank yet strangely rewarding account of a terrifying childhood, a compelling narrative packed with vivid and sometimes terrifying characters, and a meditation on time, memory and identity that, while it travels its own contemporary path, raises questions that would not seem out of place in Speak, Memory or Augustine’s Confessions.’ – John Burnside
At this event Miranda Doyle will be joining Felicia Yap (Yesterday), photographer Peter Mourant and returning festival chair (and renowned literary blogger) Naomi Frisby for a panel discussion on fake news, echo chambers and the stories that pictures tell.
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Dinosaur’s Return
JERSEY ARTS CENTRE / SUNDAY 1st OCTOBER / 11.00 – 12.00
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks is back on the 10th anniversary of this bestselling picture book series! By the light of a silvery moon, Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and his faithful friends are heading for Thunder Mountain.
Their mission? To take a little dinosaur home. But the biggest adventure EVER lies in store. Join our brave young knight and his faithful friends as their adventure leads them into the middle of a dinosaur stampede and towards a volcano that might erupt at any moment!
Can Sir Charlie save the day again and help the lost dinosaur safely home? An action-packed, funny and charming picture book adventure that is perfect for reading aloud before bedtime and sharing with little adventurers!
Get ready for a lively stage show featuring giant books, props, and maybe even a song or two!
Kristina Stephenson trained as a set and costume designer. She had a successful career in theatre and children’s TV until she had her children. Wanting to stay at home with them, she turned to illustration. Inspired to write by her own son Charlie (who doesn’t have stinky socks), she created the wonderful adventures of Sir Charlie Stinky Socks.
The Blonde Plotters
Gwyn Garfield-Bennett / Kelly Clayton / Deborah Carr
OPERA HOUSE STUDIO / SATURDAY 30th SEPT / 13.30 – 14.30
Make way for the Blonde Plotters! Join local authors Gwyn Garfield-Bennett, Kelly Clayton and Deborah Carr as they discuss their craft, their inspirations and how the three came to meet. All three live on Jersey and are independently published authors writing a mix of genres including romance, general fiction and crime thrillers.
Deborah Carr’s novel A Jersey Kiss (written under the pseudonym of Georgina Troy) was a finalist in the Contemporary Romance Category of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2016. Deborah has since gone on to write several more books in The Jersey Scene series.
Journalist Gwyn Garfield-Bennett’s new novel Lonely Hearts has just been published (under the name Gwyn GB); her debut novel Islands was published in 2016.
Kelly Clayton is the author of The Jack le Claire Mystery series (Blood in the Sand, Blood Ties); her third book will be published in November 2017.
‘Schtum’ (as part of A Life Less Ordinary Panel Event)
JERSEY OPERA HOUSE / THURSDAY 28th SEPTEMBER / 18.00
Jem Lester was a journalist for nine years and saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989 – and though there, he denies personal responsibility. Perhaps it is Lester’s experiences and talent as a journalist that had him turning to real life for inspiration for his debut novel, Shtum.
Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His 10 year old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben’s elderly father, three generations of men – one who can’t talk, two who won’t – are thrown together. As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his ignorance, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.
Based loosely on Lester’s own experiences with his severely autistic child, this book is a funny and heartbreaking story about families, forgiveness and finding a light in the darkest days.
Jem Lester will be appearing at the A Life Less Ordinary panel event (on communicating without the common senses) with Penny Joelson and Vanesssa Potter.
Jersey Evening Post Writing Competition
ARTS CENTRE / SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER / 17.00
Now in its third year the Rathbones / Jersey Evening Post Short Story competition continues to encourage local writers of all ages to share their talents by submitting original short stories and flash fiction. Join this year’s winners as they receive their prizes, before hearing their pieces brought to life by selected readers.
Crapaud to Joy
MARITIME MUSEUM / WEDNESDAY 27th SEPTEMBER / 19.00 (for 19.30 start) – 21.30
A Plays Rough Production
Last year Plays Rough were asked to produce some original performance pieces, based on or around Shakespeare. They populated Mont Orgueil with five very different pieces, all written, directed and performed by Island talent.
Shakespeare was writing before the post-war boom in package holidays, so was a flawed choice as he never referred to Jersey in his work. This year will be different.
Guinness world record holder, crooner, and creator of one of the most pirated pieces of vinyl south of Little Sark, Bob Anthony, and his seminal 1975 album Ile d’Amour, will be the inspiration for 2017.
So get down down down to St Helier (specifically the Maritime Museum) to see the festival opened in (some sort of) style.