An Italian twist at the Oxford Literary Festival

Helena Attlee (photo Alex Ramsay)

The Oxford Literary Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, offering a memorable programme of events. From Saturday 2nd to Sunday 10th April 2016 exceptional speakers will join a nine days of inspiring literary and cultural events.

Italians will contribute actively at the Festival, supported for the third year by FT Weekend. In fact, Oxford Literary Festival will welcome many distinguished speakers for the programme on Italian culture and literature, including writer Dacia Maraini, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2012 and has written more than 60 plays and novels, will talk about her life in writing. Her novels, which also include The Silent Duchess, winner of the Campiello prize, have been published in more than 20 countries. The Italian Cultural Institute will present the novelist and political activist on Friday 8th April at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford.

Dacia Maraini

Dacia Maraini

On the same day but in the evening, the acclaimed Italian novelist and multi-awarded script writer Francesca Marciano will present her new collection of short stories, The Other Language (Isola grande isola piccola in Italian). Marciano, who writes her novels in English, gathered together nine stories in which the main themes are love, betrayal, politics and travel.

Francesca Marciano

Francesca Marciano


Again, on 8th April, writer, historian and broadcaster Gaia Servadio will talk about the literary importance of text and lyrics, or libretto, written for the great Italian operas. According to Servadio, librettos have often been disregarded, even though these works can be considered great literary works in themselves. The event will be illustrated by some of the music discussed.

500 speakers from 20 countries will join the festival, among which Dr Mary McAleese. To mark the centenary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, the armed insurrection that took place during Easter Week in 1916, McAleese, the former President of  Ireland, will discuss anglo-Irish relations over the past 100 years.

Other highlights of the Oxford Literary festival will be actor Sir Ian McKellen giving the first Provost of Worcester’s Lecture; Professor Mary Beard giving the Bodley Lecture; Garry Kasparov, Russian chess Grandmaster, writer and political activist, talking about Putin’s Russia; and the venture capitalist Sir Michael Moritz focusing on leadership.

To book the tickets and for more information please visit Oxford Literary Festival.


Dacia MArainiFrancesca MarcianoGaia ServadioOxford Literary Festival
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