York Literature Festival in association with Baillie Gifford



 Big City Read 2018

Programme and event booking from 1 August
Events from 20 September to 16 November


Our Big City Read book for 2018 is Matt Haig’s The Radleys. Matt is riding the crest of a wave at the minute as his latest book Notes on a Nervous Planet went straight into the Sunday Times bestseller list at number one at the beginning of July. Matt will be appearing in York twice to help us to both launch and celebrate the end of the Big City Read. You can find details of these events and many more in our brochure.

The Big City Read is about sharing the joy of reading and we will be giving away 5,000 free copies of The Radleys in York libraries and at special pop-up events from 21 September which you can find in the At a Glance section of our brochure.

In addition to author events, reading groups, films, talks and workshops we are delighted to be offering a new strand to the Big City Read this year. We have been awarded funding from Arts Council England to commission a short play, Surprise Ending, which has been written for us by Bridget Foreman and will be performed by Riding Lights Theatre Company in all of our libraries.

The Radleys is a moving and thrilling domestic novel that explores the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the bonds of family love. Peter and Helen Radley live a typical suburban life in Bishopthorpe with their teenage children, Rowan and Clara. One night Clara has a shocking experience which will change all of their lives for ever and force Peter and Helen to reveal that they are all, in fact, vampires.

You can download the Big City Read Brochure 2018, and find details of Big City Read events and book them here. If you need some help with booking, you can ask at any library in York.

We advise booking in advance for all of our events, including the free ones, to make sure of a place.

You will be able to collect your free copy of The Radleys from any Explore York Library from 21 September while stocks last. If you complete one of our contact cards when you collect your book we will contact you to ask you what you think about the Big City Read.



We’re very grateful for all the feedback we have received. If you would like to send us feedback about anything to do with the Festival, please do so using the contact form here.

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