Festival celebrates women novelists

Elif ShafakThis year’s festival marks a glorious celebration of some of today’s most extraordinary (and popular) female novelists, writes Lucy Atkins.

The talented authors coming to Oxford include literary giant Hilary Mantel (1 April) and bestselling Turkish novelist Elif Shafak (31 March), pictured right.

We also have the beloved Victoria Hislop, who will open up about her latest book, Cartes Postales from Greece (31 March), and Louise Doughty, talking about both her new novel, Black Water, and her previous psychological thriller, Apple Tree Yard, a recent gripping – and controversial – BBC Sunday night drama (2 April).

Sarah PerryHistorical novelist Sarah Perry, pictured left, will discuss her brilliant work The Essex Serpent, which beat Harry Potter to become Waterstones’ book of the year (29 March), and Joanna Cannon will tell us what it’s like to pen a bestselling debut after her captivating The Trouble with Goats and Sheep became a runaway success (25 March).

Elsewhere, we have the famous We Need to Talk about Kevin author, Lionel Shriver; a ‘live show’ from acclaimed Chocolat author Joanne Harris; and Naomi Alderman discussing her stunning feminist dystopian novel, The Power

This year’s festival is probably the best ever for fiction lovers. Tickets for these events are on sale now – and they’re going fast.