Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival hosts talented writers

Book lovers have chance to meet some of biggest names on literary scene

THIS year’s Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival has opened with interviews and talks from some of the most talented writers, critics and journalists in north London.

The three day festival, which is run by the Ham&High in conjunction with the London Jewish Cultural Centre, opened yesterday at Ivy House in North End Road, Golders Green.

Giles Coren, the award-winning restaurant critic and columnist for The Times, the novelist Joanna Trollope and acclaimed writer and director Steven Berkoff were among the guest speakers.

Today promises an equally enticing line up of big names from the arts and literary scene. From 12 noon to 1pm the Ham&High features editor Bridget Galton will talk to Rachel Billington about her book The Missing Boy - about a runaway.

The journalist Valerie Gove, who wrote the biographies of Dodie Smith, Laurie Lee, and John Mortimer, will talk from 2pm to 3pm.

Tonight, Professor Tanya Byron and Fiona Millar will host an interactive event entitled Juggling Work, Kids and Sanity from 7pm to 8pm.

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Martin Amis will take to the floor at 8.30pm to talk about his latest novel The Pregnant Widow: a gloriously risqu� account of the sexual revolution of the 1970s.

Tracy Chevalier, author or six novels, including Girl with a Peal Earring, will then join Lionel Shriver, who penned the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, for a talk on American Writers in England.

To find out more about tomorrow’s events visit www.hamhighlitfest.com. For advanced booking telephone 0208 511 7900.