Salman Rushdie is just one of the big names at Charleston Festival 2020

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Salman Rushdie. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Now in its 31st year, the Charleston Festival is one of the most prestigious literary festivals in the world. It celebrates the creative and intellectual curiosity, radicalism and openness of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Virginia Woolf and the artists, writers and thinkers of the Bloomsbury group who gathered at Charleston and dared to imagine society differently.

Master storyteller Salman Rushdie returns for the first time in more than a decade to discuss his life and work. Just as Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirise the culture of his time, Rushdie’s latest novel, Quichotte, takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse and is told with real storytelling magic.

Activist, academic and award-winning writer Bernardine Evaristo explores both heritage and modern life in her considerable body of work, shedding new light on what it means to be British. Evaristo has described her 2019 Booker Prize-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other, as ‘fusion fiction’, and her writing spans an enormous range of genres.

Since her early days as a journalist and feminist activist in the 1960s, Gloria Steinem’s words heave helped generations to empower themselves and work together. Now, the feminist icon comes to Charleston Festival for the first time to speak about her latest book, The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will P*** You Off!: Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion.

Susannah Stevenson, artistic director – Charleston Festival, Small Wonder and Literary Programmes, The Charleston Trust – said: “I am thrilled to be able to share the names of the first speakers taking part in Charleston Festival 2020. The creativity, impact and innovation of Salman Rushdie, Bernardine Evaristo and Gloria Steinem’s work rings true with the spirit of the Bloomsbury group, and highlights the importance of challenging the status quo in valuable spaces for discussion like Charleston.”

Charleston has also announced details of its new under-30s ticket scheme. Festival goers under 30 can get tickets for just £10 when 1,000 of them across all festival events are released.

The full line-up will be announced on February 18. Priority booking opens to Friends and Supporters on February 26 with tickets released on general sale on March 5.

Hastings cinema listings, Friday to Thursday, February 14-20. Click here to read more.

Four great shows to see in the Eastbourne area. Click here to read more.

Four things to do in Hastings, Rye and Bexhill. Click here to read more.

An interview with Baxter Dury ahead of Hastings Fat Tuesday’s launch night. Click here to read more.

Inspiring workshops with Claire Martin and Guy Chambers: Hastings International Piano Festival. Click here to read more.

Eastbourne entertainment listings, Friday to Thursday, February 14-20. Click here to read more.


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