‘The Oxford Literary Festival has in my mind become the leading literary festival of the year. The organisation, the roster of speakers, the ambience and the sheer quality of it all is superb. May it now go from strength to strength each year stretching its ambition more and more. I believe it will.’
Sir Tim Waterstone – founder of the Waterstones bookshop chain
'Every time I go to an event I'm re-energised.'
Sam Hale, visitor from the United States
‘The Oxford Literary Festival is intellectual Viagra.’
Lucy Worsley – historian and broadcaster
‘I loved the whole atmosphere of the Oxford Literary Festival. From breakfast, alongside some of the attendees, who were talking books with each other a mile a minute, to the public event at The Sheldonian where everyone was lively and engaged – I felt I had arrived in a kind of literary heaven.’
Anne Tyler – celebrated American novelist
‘I came away buzzing and reassured that we still have in this century a wide ranging community fascinated not just by famous authors (I’ve rarely seen so many concentrated in one place) but by challenging ideas and questions.'
Sir Kazuo Ishiguro – Booker Prize-winning author of Remains of the Day
‘The night in Oxford was the most beautiful event I have ever done. Not just the spectacular setting (of the Sheldonian), but an unforgettable evening.’ Paul Auster – acclaimed American novelist
‘Every literary festival stays in an author’s mind for slightly individual reasons. I shall remember the Oxford festival for:
- the size of the audience: at the top end of the range
- their intelligence – this makes a huge difference for a speaker. In the Oxford audience I encountered many experts in the field my book covered and even one of the ambassadors I’d quoted
- the beauty and the grace of the place itself – incomparable
- the willingness of my hearers to buy books afterwards; I’ve never sold more’
Matthew Parris – journalist and former MP
‘The Oxford festival is the most elegant and atmospheric of literary festivals. It’s a pleasure to both attend and perform there.’
Colin Thubron – travel writer
‘Often as an author, I only occasionally get to meet the public who buy and read my books. The Oxford Literary Festival was a special opportunity for me and certainly one of the highlights of my career – it was an honour I will never forget.’
Ken Hom – American Chinese chef and cookery writer
‘It was a privilege for me to visit the festival to receive the Bodley Medal. As an incidental blessing I saw Oxford at its most mysterious and atmospheric. It was a day of piercing cold and as I walked through the twilight from the Sheldonian to Christ Church, the streets were empty and the whole city was shutting itself away. Christ Church was silent except for the footfall of unseen persons around corners and the sounds of evensong creeping from behind closed doors. For the first time I understood thoroughly the power of college ghost stories.'
Dame Hilary Mantel – twice Booker Prize winner
'A stimulating and rewarding on-stage conversation; a lively informed and tolerant audience; privileged access to the great treasures of the Bodleian, and finally, wonderfully interesting dinner companions to help me conclude the best day I have enjoyed at any festival – anywhere.'
Peter Carey – twice Booker Prize winner