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Jo Baker, Mark Carruthers and Emma Darwin To Feature In Literary Lunchtimes
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THE Ulster Hall’s hugely popular Literary Lunchtimes continue with eight more lunchtime adventures in the Group Space, from September through to December.

The new season of Literary Lunchtimes gets underway with a reading by Jo Baker on Wednesday 25 September. Pride and Prejudice celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, and Jo Baker’s latest novel, Longbourn, provides a completely fresh take on Jane Austen by telling the story from the servants’ perspective. Chosen as one of the ‘Best Books for Summer 2013’ in The Guardian, Longbourn is due to be made into a film by Focus Features. The Lancaster-born author will read from and talk about this new novel and will also sign copies of Longbourn after her reading.

The Waterfront in Belfast.

The Waterfront in Belfast.

Autumn 2013 sees the release of Alternative Ulsters, a collection of over 30 interviews with renowned Ulster figures by Mark Carruthers. The well known TV presenter and interviewer reads from some of his many insightful and memorable interviews and also discusses Ulster heritage, the arts and identity on Wednesday 30 October.

Highly respected author, Emma Darwin, talks about her novels on Wednesday 27 November. The Daily Express described Emma’s début novel, The Mathematics of Love, as “an addictive, engaging foray into historical fiction that leaves the reader believing in the art of perspective and the redemptive power of love.” Hailed by the Times as “spellbinding,” her follow-up, A Secret Alchemy, was named one of The Times Top 50 Paperbacks of 2009.

Best known as a BBC NI newsreader, announcer and reporter, novelist and broadcaster, Roisin McAuley (Wednesday 11 December) has produced and directed television documentaries for ITV and Channel 4 and presented programmes on BBC Radio. Rosin enjoyed widespread critical praise for her first novel, 2005’s. Singing Bird, and has since written three more popular novels: Meeting Point, Finding Home and French Secrets. She is currently finishing her fifth novel and is delighted to be returning to Belfast to read from, and talk about, her work.

Tender (Wednesday 2 October) sees Sophie Collins and Rachael Allen – editors of online publication, Tender – talk about this new journal which showcases works by female writers and artists, and also introduce readings from its contributors.

In Screen Testing Poetry (Wednesday 23 October) Paul Maddern explores how moving images can inspire poets and how film and TV shows are playing an increasingly dominant role in shaping artistic practices.

Three of Belfast’s most exciting up and coming prose writers – Carolyn Healy, Sheila McWade and Sheila Llewellyn – read from their thought provoking and entertaining short story collections in Short Cuts – New Prose Picks (Wednesday 13 November).

Bring your own lunch to Poetry Picnic – Christmas Cracker (Wednesday 18 December). This ‘indoor picnic’ packed with literary festive treats sees award winning local poet Emma Must plunder the cannon of Christmas poetry, while Tom Clarke reads aloud from Charles Dickens’ Christmas tales and Hannah McPhillimy sings festive songs.

Jo Baker and Roisin McAuley are presented in association with The John Hewitt Society. Emma Darwin is presented in association with The Open University.

Ticket prices:

Jo Baker: £5; Screen Testing Poetry with Paul Maddern: £4; Mark Carruthers: £4; Emma Darwin: £4; Roisin McAuley: £5; Poetry Picnic – Christmas Cracker: £4. Tender and Short Cuts – New Prose Picks are free admission – no ticket required.

Tickets are available online, from the Ulster Hall and Waterfront Box Offices and by calling 028 9033 4455.

There is a Credit/Debit card handling charge of £1 per ticket for bookings made by telephone.
A fee of 50p per booking is payable for tickets forwarded by post.
Online bookings attract a charge of just £1.50 per transaction.