Welcome to the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
The great University and the city of Oxford have always welcomed thinkers and writers from across the globe, and this year’s international 2013 Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival celebrates this tradition more than ever before.
We have writers and panellists from over 20 countries; some two dozen speakers from the USA for our new annual programme on American literature and culture; ten speakers on Indian literature and culture; several events in our Africa programme and previews of next year’s focus on German literature and culture. Joining them are some of the greatest writers in English of our age, including Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and Booker prize winners Hilary Mantel, Julian Barnes and Ben Okri.
The 2013 festival is moving into the heart of the city with many more events in the magnificent surroundings of the Sheldonian Theatre, the Divinity School and the Bodleian Library. We are deeply indebted to the Bodley Librarian, Dr Sarah Thomas, and her colleagues, for the new enhanced partnership with the Bodleian Library. Directly opposite the site, Blackwells will be hosting the festival bookshop and café in their store.
Christ Church and its Great Hall will remain the base for many festival events, providing the ticket and information office (near Tom Gate) and accommodation for the many festival-goers who want to stay in one of the most beautiful colleges in Oxford. We will no longer have marquees in the meadow or in the gardens as we can now accommodate all speakers in college or university buildings.
Food, and particularly Indian food, is a major theme, with appearances by Madhur Jaffrey and the Nearly Naked Chef Hardeep Singh Kohli, and a talk by chef Atul Kochhar to coincide with the first award of the £7,500 Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing.
As always, we are very grateful to The Sunday Times for their promotion and publicity for the festival; to our global banking partner, HSBC Bank plc, for their wideranging support; and to our increasing list of very generous sponsors, donors and partners for their help and encouragement.
We look forward to the most exciting and prestigious festival yet and to seeing all of our friends and participants over the nine days from 16th to 24th March.
Sally Dunsmore, Festival Director