Harry Potter creator JK Rowling heads line-up for Bath Literature Festival
Harry Potter creator JK Rowling will be the star of next year’s Bath Literature Festival.
The festival, which is sponsored by the Independent newspaper and will run from March 1 to 10, will also bring Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel to the city.
Artistic director James Runcie, who is leading the event for his fourth and final year before he goes off to become head of literature and the spoken word at the South Bank Centre, said he was pleased to announce such a strong line-up.
He said: “The Independent Bath Literature Festival has the liveliest of line-ups for 2013. We welcome the finest living writers and creative minds to Bath to celebrate all that is best in literature and to engage with them in vigorous discussion and debate on what it means to be alive here and now.”
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Rowling will talk about her debut piece of adult fiction, The Casual Vacancy, while the other writers making appearances include Sandi Toksvig, Helen Dunmore, PD James, and Kate Mosse, as well former ballerina and now Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell.
Mr Runcie said he would be sad to leave the festival behind to pursue the next stage of his career, but had no doubt it would continue to be a huge success in the future.
He said: “Bath Festivals has been a creative, inspiring and liberating place to work.
“As artistic director since 2009 I have been given the freedom to develop a literature festival with a unique identity, a festival informed by the high expectations of its audience and one which has earned national recognition for its culture, humanity and good humour.
“This move marks an exciting new chapter for me, but I will continue to support the Independent Bath Literature Festival and its core ideals: thrusting debate, sparkling conversation and the pursuit of ideas.
“I am sure that the artistic and literary connections I have forged in this remarkable city will strengthen and enhance my programming in London.”
Jane Drabble, chair of Bath Festivals, said: “Bath has been so lucky to have James running our literature festival.
“He is a man of enormous talent: a brilliant interviewer and electrifying speaker, with a deep commitment to ideas, and an infectious sense of fun.
“He has set a very high standard for whoever follows him.”
All the details of the events will be available at www. bathlitfest.org.uk.