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FIRST DAY JITTERS - MAR 25 - 07.56am

Lionel Shriver, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Roger Penrose

So here it is… the first morning of the first day of nine whole days of the Oxford International Literary Festival (2017 to be precise in case you’re reading this far into the future)  and I as always feel a little anxious.
Naturally that’s a good “anxious” as opposed to the more common fretting, stomach-clenching type because I always wonder if I’ll have the stamina to enjoy every highlight. And goodness knows there are are enough of them this year, with my personal favourite being today at 12.00 noon.
Lionel Shriver, THE Lionel Shriver that is who wrote ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ (subsequently made into a film starring Tilda Swindon).
Truth is, for at least a week I thought Lionel was a man but then in fairness but for years I thought Ira Levin was a gal.
Most of all I’m looking forward to see Lionel smile; in all her publicity shots she always look deadly grim and serious. So much so in fact that I googled her last night just to see if she really is human like the rest of us and…phew, she is.
I suppose the severe and austere look is more in keeping with her writing style but I like her happy face more. Regardless, bleak or ecstatic, Ms Shriver is my poster girl for the festival.
And talking of poster girls, Olympian gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill is appearing at the Sheldonian at the exact same time so Ms Shriver will sadly be short but sweet for me.
First however, it’s Roger Penrose, also at the Sheldonian, debating ‘Fashion, Faith and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe’.
As I’ve missed breakfast, it’ll make a nice a literary substitute for eggs and bacon

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine Exeter College Exeter College Trinity College Trinity College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. Eastgate Hotel Eastgate Hotel, a festival hotel The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom T S Eliot Foundation Alan Squire Publishing Sponsor of American novelists and poets Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Seacourt Printers Festival printers Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine Exeter College Exeter College Trinity College Trinity College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. Eastgate Hotel Eastgate Hotel, a festival hotel The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom T S Eliot Foundation Alan Squire Publishing Sponsor of American novelists and poets Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Seacourt Printers Festival printers Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland