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A BEST selling author and alumni of the University of Leicester, has opened their annual four-day literary festival.

Adele Parks opened this year’s event yesterday (March 23) at the University of Leicester, which she graduated from back in 1990.

Taking place between March 23 and 26, Leicester Literary Festival is described as one of the “biggest and most diverse literary festivals in the East Midlands”, bringing together award-winning writers and best-selling novelists from different genres, backgrounds and styles.

It will feature a number of free to attend events at different locations across the city.

Mrs Parks, said she was excited to be a part of yesterday’s launch, and the opportunity it gave her to interact with avid readers, authors and people involved in the literary world.

“I have been to Leicester’s Literary Festival in the past a few times, so a bit of a bit of a long term supporter, but I think it’s really special this year because we’re all so desperate to get back out and about, talking to each other in the flesh, and not doing sort of endless zoom events,” she told Pukaar News.

“They serves a purpose, but I think nothing replaces that one on one -eye-to-eye chatting over a signed book, so it’s really exciting.”

Adele currently lives in Surrey, but still has many friends in Leicester and a great attachment to the area, she revealed.

Since graduating from the University of Leicester, she has gone on to write 22 books in 22 years, all of which have been ‘Times top-ten best sellers’.

This year’s Literary Festival, which attracts more than five thousand visitors a year, will also feature Booker-Prize winning novelist Howard Jakobson, 2021’s Costa-prize winning novelist Monique Roffey, and best-selling Children’s author, Pippa Goodhart.

Picture: Howard Jakobson (Booker Prize)

World-renowned travel writers, Colin Thubron and Monisha Rajesh will be discussing the future of travel writing after the pandemic and spoken-word poetry will be performed by Grace Nichols, and John Agard.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester, said:

“The University of Leicester is proud to be hosting the Literary Leicester Festival in our Centenary year. The festival is unique in the way that it brings together a really diverse range of voices. 

“It is truly a festival for everyone and it demonstrates how we embrace diversity in everything that we do as a University. We look forward to welcoming everyone to this wonderful event.”

Dr Harry Whitehead, Director of Literary Leicester, said: “I’m thrilled to see Literary Leicester 2022 return to live, in-person literary events. We’re hugely proud to continue our tradition of offering big-name authors and compelling topics of discussion, 100 per cent free, in our wonderful, diverse city.

“We’re also working with local schools, libraries and charities. We’re celebrating fifteen years of the Letterbox Club with a fantastic family event on Saturday 26, and our Fringe showcases some of the University’s most exciting research.

“By holding our headline events in the evenings and at weekends, and by remaining completely free, we draw a larger, more diverse audience than many other festivals,” he added.

“As well as devoted lit-fest attendees, we also hope to see those who’ve not considered coming along to a literature event before. We’re here for everyone.”

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