Port Eliot Festival 'Hot 5' Literary Picks

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This year's Port Eliot Festival is promising a stellar line up rich with literary pickings. Hot off the launch of the new website, this magical and truly original festival, which takes place from the 24th to the 26th July 2009, is pleased to announce its 'Hot 5' literary stars. Sarah Waters, Kate Summerscale, Alain de Botton, Mohsin Hamid and Alexander Waugh will all be bringing their way with words and something just a little different to this hidden part of south east Cornwall.

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Freshly confirmed for the Port Eliot Festival (http://www.porteliotfestival.com/) is acclaimed novelist Sarah Waters, her first three novels, which include Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, have received high praise from both mainstream reviewers and the gay and lesbian press. In 2003 she was nominated by Granta magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'. Sarah will be presenting a very special event based around her new novel The Little Stranger, which is due out in June 2009.

Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House (Bloomsbury, 2008) won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction in 2008 and has been storming the book charts this year. Alongside journalist Louise Carpenter, Kate will be creating a mysterious and intriguing happening to take place inside the wonderful Port Eliot House.

Alain de Botton is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and public speaker, whose books have sold in millions around the world. His latest book, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, will be published in April 2009 and explores the "beauty, interest and occasional horror of the modern world of work." At this year's festival, Alain will be solving your work problems live on stage, drawing from his extensive travels and study undertaken for the writing of The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.

Alexander Waugh, grandson of Evelyn and son of Auberon, is a writer, publisher, cartoonist, presenter, producer and award-winning composer. His books include the best selling Classical Music: A new way of listening and the critically acclaimed Time (1999), God (2002) and Fathers and Sons (2004), also a BBC4 documentary. His new book, The House of Wittgenstein - a study of the Wittgenstein family and particularly of pianist Paul Wittgenstein has received stellar reviews for its originality and fresh perspective. During the festival Alexander will bring alive the pages of the book with a talk on Wittgenstein and a virtuoso piano recital in the magnificent Round Room.

Mohsin Hamid's latest novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Penguin 2008), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for fiction and has sold over a quarter of a million copies in the UK alone since its release last year. His first book, Moth Smoke won a Betty Trask award, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, a New York Times 'Notable Book of the Year' and was published in ten languages. Mohsin will be reading from, and talking about, The Reluctant Fundamentalist as well as taking to the stage with Kamila Shamsie, author of the freshly published Burnt Shadows.

Joining the 'Hot 5' will be rising stars Joe Dunthorne, Ross Sutherland and Tim Clare's excellent stand-up poetry show Found in Translation, described by the Londonist as "a recipe for madness." Found in Translation is the result of an attempt by the three writers to take up the challenge of the Univocalism - a poem written using only one type of vowel. Its recipe of one part literary lecture, one part multimedia performance, and a hefty dose of cutting-edge satire is sure to be an entertaining highlight of the festival.

Also one to look out for is Port Eliot Festival's collaboration with Jeff Barrett, Heavenly Records co-founder and brains behind the Caught By The River website. Over the three days of the festival, the Caught By The River team will host readings from their forthcoming book and introduce an eclectic programme of music, performance, partying, bird watching and fly fishing. Also making the 'fishing trip' will be a whole host of musical acts, performers, writers and artists invited by the Heavenly crew.

Other literary names confirmed for the festival include Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Henry Hemming, Barbara Hulanicki, The Antonius Players, Patrick McCabe, Justine Picardie, Mick Brown, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Hadley Freeman, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, Hanif Kureishi, William Dalrymple, Arthur Smith, Grace Maxwell, Louis de Bernières, Tahmima Anam, Mark Crick, Susie Boyt, Will Hodgkinson, Mike Jay, William Fiennes, Tim Richardson, Alexander Masters, Marcel Theroux and Simon Munnery, who are all set to join the party with more acts being confirmed over the coming months.

Port Eliot Festival always promises something extra special from its line up and this year will be no exception. Alain de Botton says, "Most literary festivals feel like work, but Port Eliot is like messing about in a garden at play - and from this informality comes the particular zaniness and inventiveness that is the festival's hallmark. It's always a joy to come."

There's no other festival quite like Port Eliot, and with its mix of literature, art, performance, music, food and a beautiful setting, there's no better place to spend a long July weekend. Festival-goers are invited to go wild in the countryside with some of today's most exciting writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers and comedians. Be read to, be painted, be moved, be amused. Explore the maze, feast on seafood, dance till dawn and sleep under the stars.

The brand new Port Eliot Festival website is now live at http://www.porteliotfestival.com. Information on the growing line up, performers' profiles, tickets, travel, accommodation, photographs, video and everything else you need to know about the festival can be found there. Adult weekend tickets can be purchased for £105 each and children's tickets for £40 each. Family tickets and day tickets are also now on sale at http://www.porteliotfestival.com and by posting cheques to Port Eliot Festival, The Estate Office, St Germans, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 5ND.

Notes to editors:
The 2009 Port Eliot Festival will take place from Friday 24th July - Sunday 26th July. Gates open at 11am on Friday and the festival finishes late on Sunday night. The nearest train station is St Germans five minutes walk from the site. Unlimited free parking will be available in the park.
Ticket Information
Weekend (3 day) adult camping                £105
Weekend child (4-12 inclusive) camping    £40
Family 2 adults +3 children                    £250
Saturday adult day ticket                    £30
Saturday child ticket                         £15
Sunday adult day ticket                              £24
Sunday child ticket                                 £12
Children under 4 are free.
There is a handling charge of £1.50 per transaction.

The Festival is hosted by the Earl of St Germans and organised by his wife, Catherine St Germans, journalist and writer; Simon Prosser, Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton; Rick Worthy, actor and musician.


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