Monday, January 30, 2012

Favourite Manchester Literature - any ideas?

Manchester Literature Festival is joining forces with Oxygen Books to put together a very special event for this year’s festival in October 2012, and we need your help in selecting content for it - ''can you recommend any writing that, for you, perfectly sums up the City of Manchester, past, present or even future?'

Oxygen Books’ city-pick series already features some of the best writing on favourite world cities, from New York, Berlin and Paris to London, Amsterdam, Dublin and Venice and has been called ‘wonderful’ (The Guardian), ‘superb’ (The Times) and ‘sublime’ (The Sydney Morning Herald).
At the Literature Festival office, we've been trying to think of some of our own favourite pieces of local writing. Elizabeth Gaskell and Friedrich Engels both brought Manchester to life in their very different ways. There's 'Love on the Dole', of course, Walter Greenwood's classic slice of 1930's working class Salford and Manchester life. There are also the plays of Harold Brighouse, including the celebrated 'Hobson's Choice', first produced during the First World War and revived many times since then. Moving more up date, the late Shelagh Delaney was one of the first British playwrights to present issues of race and sexuality on stage in a naturalistic setting. Her 'Taste of Honey' is rightly regarded as a classic of literature - and she wrote it in ten days, whilst still a teenager! Delaney is cited as an influence on Morrissey and The Smiths, and of course, their lyrics are another example of writing inspired by a Manchester setting. Andrea Ashworth's moving 'Once In A House On Fire' describes a local upbringing fraught with physical and emotional trauma and is now studied at school.

Rainy City Stories is a great source of local fiction and poetry, and all are linked in some way to the local landscape and infrastructure. Howard Jacobson, Cath Staincliffe, Mike Duff, Jeff Noon...once you start thinking about Manchester Literature, you are spoilt for choice!

Oxygen Books will be presenting city-pick Manchester at the Manchester Literature Festival, together with a well-known actor. A city-pick Manchester pod-cast will also be available.

Do you have any ideas on writing about Manchester? If you do, please send them to Malcolm Burgess at before April 30th 2012.

For more information you can email Malcolm or ring him: 01277 263770/ 07964979819