As those of us who have been confronted with a book sale or all-you-can-eat situation know – choice can be overwhelming. With such an extraordinary line-up of literary luminaries and celebrated figures converging for a week-long conversation, it can be a hard task to pick who and what to see.
To help you create your perfect Festival, we've created a like-for-like guide based on authors you might have enjoyed last year. Read on to plan your most exciting Festival yet.
If you liked Jonathan Franzen last year, try George Saunders
Why: Both widely acclaimed, both ambitious in scope and vision, and both among the greatest contemporary novelists – if you loved Jonathan Franzen’s sessions last year, this is your chance to catch another US literary master apply his wit and insight to wide-ranging topics.
See George at:
If you liked Hanya Yanigahara in 2016, don’t miss Colson Whitehead
Why: The darkness and beauty of American life finds expression in both author’s works — and both made a worldwide splash ahead of the Festival with their much-discussed novels A Little Life and The Underground Railroad respectively. If you enjoyed Hanya’s insightful discussion of craft, culture, and American literature, you won’t want to miss Colson at this year’s Festival.
See Colson at:
If you liked Gloria Steinem last year, make sure you catch Susan Faludi
Why: While feminism is ever evolving, understanding the history of the women’s movement is essential as we move forward. Iconic feminist Gloria Steinem drew on her years of experience as a writer, editor and lecturer for fascinating sessions at last year’s Festival, and Susan Faludi is set to do likewise. From a fascinating discussion of Susan's memoir of her father to her remarks on refuge at the Closing Address, this is your chance to hear the Pulitzer-prize winning cultural critic and writer on some of the most urgent topics of our day.
See Susan at:
Why: If you like your poetry lyrical, fierce, and brimming with lived experience, you no doubt found Kate an absolute highlight of last year’s Festival – and we’d strongly recommend poets Rupi and Hera this year. This is your chance to catch two cult contemporary poets exploring language in a way that speaks to the zeitgeist.
See Rupi & Hera at:
If you liked Yanis Varoufakis in 2016…. you may like Sebastian Mallaby
Why: Delving into the undercurrents of global economics, former finance minister of Greece Yanis gave us a fascinating, essential insight into the global economy and its future last year – with charisma to spare. This year, former Economist and Washington Post journalist Sebastian will be providing insight into modern finance and how it affects us all, as well as his latest work The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan.
See Sebastian at:
If you liked Ann Goldstein last year, try Pamela Paul
Why: Last year, New Yorker editor and translator Ann took us behind the scenes to explore some of the most influential publications and greatest living writers of our day. As editor of the New York Times Book Review and overseeing all books coverage at The New York Times, Pamela will be delivering an insightful and intriguing look behind the scenes, as well as her own incredible work. If you enjoyed The Book That Changed Me, join Pamela this year to explore one of the world's most renowned mastheads and get an insider’s view into the publishing industry.
See Pamela at:
If you liked Julian Barnes in 2016, you may like Anne Enright
Why: When the world’s greatest contemporary writers sit down to talk craft and contemporary culture, it’s always worth a listen… Last year, Man Booker Prize-winning author Julian was an insightful and unmissable highlight of the Festival. This year, Anne's much lauded work places her on par with Julian — this is a chance to hear from one of the most engaging, and acclaimed writers at work today.
See Ann at:
If you liked Vivian Gornick in 2016, you might like Nadja Spiegelman
Why: In a New York frame of mind? The Big Apple remains a centre of literary culture, but these writers share more than just a hometown – they also share a literary interest and considerable skill in the art of memoir. Their styles may be divergent, but the thematic parallels make Nadja a top pick for those who enjoyed Vivian’s exploration of her own writing, her voice and her city.