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Belfast Book Festival: 8 must see events for literature lovers

The Belfast Book Festival returns for its seventh year this week, boasting a huge programme of events over ten days for literature lovers.

Based at the Crescent Arts Centre in east Belfast, the Festival will host discussions from both local and international authors, covering all genres of books.

Here are eight of the top events from this year's programme.

1. Attack of the Fifty Foot Women - Catherine Mayer, Saturday, June 10

Former editor at large of TIME Magazine and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, Catherine Mayer will be discussing her new book and how "gender equality can save the world".

The author will be sharing her stories about researching the book and revealing how she noticed that many people found it hard to envisage a gender-equal world.

Where: Crescent Arts Centre

Time: 6pm

Price: £5 - £7

2. The Life of a Painter - John Lavery (Written and performed by Conor Maguire) Sunday, June 11

This one-man show has been adapted for stage by Conor Maguire from John Lavery’s 1940 Autobiography, The Life of a Painter.

It tells the story of how John Lavery came from humble beginnings to go on to live in the higher echelons of society.

Having taught Churchill to paint, and counting lords, ladies, politicians and royalty among his friends, Lavery became a critical player at the time when the Irish treaty was being signed.

Where: Crescent Arts Centre

Time: 2pm & 8pm

Price: £5 - £7

3. What Would Beyoncé Do? - Luisa Omielan with Sarah Firby, Wednesday, June 14

Comedian and author Luisa Omielan will be discussing her hilarious memoirs as well as answering the one mantra every person needs in their life: What Would Beyoncé Do?

Where: Crescent Arts Centre

Time: 8pm

Price: £8 - £10

4. Animal - Sara Pascoe with Sarah Firby, Thursday, June 15

Comedian Sara Pascoe will be discussing her debut book Animal, which explores theories of how the female body evolved alongside cultural analysis and personal experience.

The book provides a fascinating insight into the forces that mould and affect modern women - and it’s packed full of jokes too.

Sara is best known for her appearances on Live at The Apollo, Mock the Week, QI, Room 101, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats.

Where: Black Box (16+)

Time: 8pm

Price: £10 - £12

5. Louis de Bernières, Friday, June 16

Author of the bestselling book, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis De Bernières joins the Belfast Book Festival to talk about about his latest novel Blue Dog - the prequel inspired by the adaptation of its predecessor Red Dog, to the big screen.

The prolific author will also touch on his recently published novel, the critically acclaimed The Dust That Falls From Dreams, as well as look at his latest collection of poetry Of Love and Desire.

Where: Crescent Arts Centre

Time: 6.30pm

Price: £6 - £8

6. Polari Literary Salon, Friday, June 16

London’s award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari has been showcasing the best in established and emerging LGBT literary talent since 2007.

Curated and hosted by author Paul Burston, Polari features a mixture of visiting and local guests including Belfast author Paul McVeigh, performing their own unique work.

Polari began in the upstairs room of a bar in Soho. Events are now held monthly at the Southbank Centre and feature the best in established and emerging LGBT literary talent.

Where: Sunflower Bar

Time: 8pm

Price: £6 - £8

7. Another Day In The Death Of America - Gary Younge in conversation with Elizabeth Nelson Gorman, Friday, June 16

On 23 November 2013, 10 children were shot dead in the US. None made the national news. It was just another day in the death of America, where on average 7 children and teens are killed by guns daily.

Editor-at-large at The Guardian, Gary Younge picked this day at random, searched for their families and told their stories. What emerges is a sobering, searing, portrait of youth and guns in contemporary America.

Where: Crescent Arts Centre

Time: 7pm

Price: £6 - £8

8. The Strange Death of Europe - Douglas Murray with Daniel Jewsbury, Friday, June 16

The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide.

Declining birth-rates, mass immigration and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive change as a society.

Told from this first-hand perspective, and backed with impressive research and evidence, the book addresses the disappointing failure of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel’s U-turn on migration, the lack of repatriation and the Western fixation on guilt

Where: Crescent Arts Centre

Time: 8pm

Time: £8 - £10

  • The Belfast Book Festival runs from Wednesday, June 7 - Saturday, June 17.

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