From eminent novelists to culinary masters, there was a veritable feast of events at this year’s winter festival – Edition reviews
It was all systems go at November’s Cambridge Literary Festival, with big hitters Ian McEwan and Orlando Figes on the lineup along with beloved local authors Jill Dawson and Sarah Vaughan for a true treasure trove of events.
The festival kicked off on Thursday with the likes of broadcasting legend Adrian Chiles. On Friday, the author Kamila Shamsie joined the festival’s favourite literary commentator Alex Clark to talk about her latest novel. Touching on the subtleties of friendships over love stories, the joys of Jackie Collins, living through a military dictatorship in Karachi – and, most importantly, cricket – following this fascinating talk we are ready to dive right in to Best of Friends.
On Saturday, Ruth Jones was hot on her heels, discussing her third novel Love Untold with East Anglian author Jo Browning Wroe. There was palpable love in the room for this talented screenwriter, who knew how to please the crowds with some appreciated Gavin and Stacey references. Her newest novel tells the story of a family across four generations of women, with all the messy relationships, mishaps and miscommunications that this entails.
The final day of the festival saw a star-studded array of events, kicking off with Reni Eddo-Lodge’s incisive discussion of her book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. With education and awareness top of Reni’s list, this event was a must-attend for anyone even vaguely interested in recent politics, the discussion touching on the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and how to construct a more hopeful future.
Cambridge Literary Festival 2022 rounded off with a meditative talk from Celia Paul and Rowan Williams on Gwen John, taking place in the stunning surroundings of the Fitzwilliam Museum – the perfect backdrop for a conversation which touched on many of the artists whose work is hung from the museum’s walls.
This motley collection of talks, speakers and events – with the new addition of literary soirées, brunch and afternoon tea at the University Arms – was perhaps the festival’s most diverse offering yet. We can’t wait to see what the team of programmers rustle up for next spring.
If you missed out on any events, do not fear – many will be available to watch online in January through the festival’s CLF Player.