By GLEN PEARCE
Bookworms in Brighton are being encouraged to get reading ahead of this May’s Brighton Festival.
Organisers have today [9 January 2016] announced the titles for the city-wide City Reads, with Sharon Duggal’s The Handsworth Times being selected for adults and A.F. Harrold’s Fizzlebert Stump The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus (and Joined the Library) being chosen for younger readers for the Young City Reads choice.
City Reads and Young City Reads are designed to spread a love of books and ideas to the widest possible audience throughout Brighton & Hove. This year they launch on 2 March (World Book Day) and run until 14 May with a series of events themed around the books to encourage people across the city to get reading and start talking.
Brighton-based writer Sharon Duggal’s novel is set in 1981 where factories are closing, unemployment is high, the NF are marching and the neglected inner cities are ablaze as riots break out across Thatcher’s fractured Britain. The Agarwal family are facing their own personal tragedy, but their pain is eased through humour, friendship and community.
For Young City Readers Fizzlebert Stump, is the story of a boy, a book, some very bad people, some very brave deeds, and the importance of rubber teeth for lions.
For Brighton Festival Director Andrew Comben, The themes of both books are a perfect fit for this year’s festival. “The importance of empathy and community is central to our Guest Director Kate Tempest’s vision for the Festival as a whole, making Sharon Duggal’s powerful debut particularly fitting as a choice for City Reads.”
Comben continues. “And with this year’s Guest Director our youngest in the role to date we are particularly pleased to be providing an opportunity to encourage young book lovers to come together to discuss and share their love of reading – and hopefully nurturing a new generation of artists and art lovers for the future.’
A host of activities are planned in the run up to the Brighton Festival and readers can visit cityreads.co.uk for more information.