Manchester Literature Festival reveals names of stars for 2022

THE first big names to be part of the Manchester Literature Festival have been revealed.

The festival, which returns to the city in October, will welcome the undisputed king of Scottish thrillers Ian Rankin.

He will discuss his new thriller featuring the character of DI John Rebus, A Heart Full of Headstones, at the Royal Northern College of Music on Wednesday October 12.

The event, presented in partnership with Waterstones, will be hosted by Jackie Kay, acclaimed poet and former Makar of Scotland.

The festival kicks off on Friday October 7 when Ruth Jones, star of the hit TV series Gavin and Stacey and Stella will be at home to talk about her new novel Love Untold.

The BAFTA-winning Welsh screenwriter, actress, comedian and novelist will share stories about her career creating and playing characters on the page and on screen.

Other headline performances also announced for the festival include an evening with Kamila Shamsie at the Martin Harris Center for Music and Drama on Bridgeford Street, Manchester on Saturday March 8.

Hosted by TV channel Razia Iqbal, the author who won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Award for her novel Home Fire, will discuss her latest book Best of Friends.

The Royal Northern College of Music will welcome a very special guest on Sunday October 9, when one of the country’s most beloved actresses will speak about her remarkable life.

An Afternoon with Sheila Hancock will be hosted by broadcaster and critic Alex Clark. With a career spanning seven decades, Sheila Hancock has worked in film, television and radio as well as being a bestselling author. She will talk about her new memoir Old Rage.

On Sunday, October 2, two pioneers – Edward Enninful and Bernardine Evaristo will be in conversation.

Edward, author of A Visible Man, was British Vogue’s first black editor and overcame prejudice and challenged the establishment and its attitude towards inclusion.

Benardine was the first black woman and black British person to win the Booker Prize for her novel Girl, Woman, Other.

Best-selling author Maggie O’Farrell will talk about her latest book, The Marriage Portrait, at a house party on Thursday, March 24, hosted by fellow festival headliner and MLF patron Kamila Shamsie.

In total, more than 40 different events will take place at venues around the city as the festival returns to an all-live event post-pandemic.

The full program will be announced on Wednesday 24 August with tickets for major events already on sale at

Now in its 17th year, the Manchester Literature Festival is building on its previous success to broaden its audience and create new partnerships in the national and international literary world.

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