A Literary Festival in a Weekend - Day 2

Human / Nature - Stories About Us

Sunday 17 May
From 12.15pm

Neel Mukherjee

Revel in the creation of the written word as we meet Norwich’s own inventor of words, join Neel Mukherjee and Rose Tremain to discuss the creative process, and participate in the National Conversation by delving into the controversial world of Amazon, and the civil war for books. 

All events are individually priced, or you can buy a Day Ticket for all five events for just £37

Second Life
with SJ Watson


Get set for an hour of thrilling words as the master of suspense, SJ Watson, introduces you to his latest novel, hot on the heels of his bestselling debut Before I Go To Sleep, adapted into a film starring Nicole Kidman in 2014.

Second Life once again ramps up the tension as Watson delivers a psychological thriller full of twists and turns. Hear him read and talk about what it is that makes his novels such irresistible page-turners. You’ll get to ask your questions, have your book signed and indulge in an hour of the unexpected.


Do It Like A Woman... And Change The World
with Caroline Criado-Perez


Come and hear from one of the most vocal and tenacious campaigners of our generation and celebrate the world’s pioneering women. Caroline Criado-Perez, named one of The Guardian’s People of the Year, is the woman who took on the Bank of England, Twitter and the criminal justice system. Presenting from her book Do it Like a Woman, hear Caroline tell her story of campaigning for women’s rights and dealing with cyber backlash. From the female fighter pilot in Afghanistan who escaped from the Taliban to the anti-FGM campaigners in the UK, come and rejoice in private heroisms and public triumphs in this inspiring manifesto for women everywhere.


The Thomas Browne Affair 
with Hugh Aldersey-Williams


Loved by W.G. Sebald, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe, and with a prominent statue in the heart of Norwich, Thomas Browne is a man you should get to know. Join writer Hugh Aldersey- Williams as he shares the stories of Norwich’s most remarkable resident, from his book The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century. A doctor, scientist, botanist, naturalist and theologist, Browne was a polymath credited for the invention of hundreds of words (only Shakespeare catalogued more) including ‘medical#‘suicide’, ‘exhaustion’, ‘hallucination’ and ‘coma’. Browne was a firm believer in the power of stories; prepare to be mesmerised by his own.


Writing Families
with Neel Mukherjee and Rose Tremain


Internationally renowned author Rose Tremain and 2014 Booker Prize shortlisted Neel Mukherjee explore writer relationships and the delicate art of writing the family. Both Tremain and Mukherjee are lauded for their colourful portrayal of family and the characters found within, with Tremain herself describing Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others as‘an outstanding novel: compelling, compassionate and complex, vivid, musical and fierce.’ Tremain’s bestselling novels have won many awards, including the Orange Prize for Women’s Fiction (The Road Home) and the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence), whilst Restoration was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1989.

Hear them read from their work and discuss how relationships with fellow writers can inspire and shape the creative process. Ask your questions, get your book signed and find out just how delicate family life can be.


The National Conversation: Amazon & The Civil War For Books
featuring Erica Wagner, Andrew O’Hagan, Isabelle Grey and Ellah Wakatama Allfrey


Join the debate as The National Conversation on literature returns to its home town to discuss the raging civil war in literature and the role of Amazon in our changing literary landscape.

The world of literature is divided: traditional publishers pitted against Amazon, with readers and writers joining in on either side. And in the middle of it all, those who just care about great writing.

Hear Erica Wagner give a provocation and debate this volatile subject with Andrew O’Hagan, one of our generation’s most exciting and most serious chroniclers of contemporary Britain, writer Isabelle Grey and editor, critic and broadcaster Ellah Wakatama Allfrey.

Can the competing visions for literature exist alongside each other in a healthy artistic marketplace? Or is this a game of thrones with only one outcome: win or die? Join the National Conversation and have your say.



Visit SJ Watson's website here

Visit Caroline Criado-Perez's website here

Visit Hugh Aldersey-Williams' website here

Visit Neel Mukherjee's website here

Visit Erica Wagner's website here

Visit Andrew O'Hagan's website here

Visit Isabelle Grey's website here

Visit Ella Wakatama Allfrey's website here

City of Literature is presented in association with

Writers’ Centre Norwich
Writers’ Centre Norwich

UNESCO City of Literature
UNESCO City of Literature