A whole host of stars will make Havant Literary Festival a hit

BOOKED Writers Precious Williams and, inset, Kay Sexton will appear at the festival
BOOKED Writers Precious Williams and, inset, Kay Sexton will appear at the festival
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Picture: Kim Barber

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A BLACK author who was advertised in a magazine as a baby and fostered by a white family will be one of the stars of Havant Literary Festival.

Precious Williams, from Midhurst, West Sussex, released her memoir Precious, A True Story to great critical acclaim last year.

BOOKED Writer Kay Sexton will appear at the festival

BOOKED Writer Kay Sexton will appear at the festival

The story of growing up within a white family on a council estate and her struggle to build a relationship with her wealthy Nigerian mother has been hugely successful.

Williams, a journalist, will be speaking about her life and work at the fourth annual festival, which begins next week.

The four-day event is packed with free and paid for events for adults and children.

Also talking about her life in books will be punctuation pedant Lynne Truss as well as David Lodge, author of A Man of Parts, based on the life of HG Wells.

The festival will celebrate Wells by staging a unique event at Uppark House, near Chichester. Members of Bench Theatre, based at The Spring, Havant, will play Wells mother – who was in service at the house – and the young author himself. It will be followed a talk from Wells’ biographer Michael Sherborne.

Environmental artists Jules and Tim Simmons will be constructing a replica time machine in The Meridian Centre to celebrate Wells’ most famous novel.

Festival chairman David Penrose said: ‘We’ve got a festival of tremendous range and variety here, celebrating local and national talent.

‘The HG Wells strand is particularly exciting, drawing together his biographer, an eminent novelist in David Lodge and a collaboration with the National Trust at Uppark.’

Festival patron Stella Duffy is back, alongside fellow historical novelists Emma Darwin and Michael Arnold, who will discuss their role in bringing our past to life – from the intrigue of sixth century Constantinople to the treacherous period of the 17th century Civil War, much of which is set in Hampshire.

Gardeners and non-gardeners alike will be amused by Kay Sexton’s eventful experiences on her allotment.

The festival begins September 22 and concludes on September 25.

There are tickets available for most events.

Pick up a brochure at The Spring or go to havantlitfest.org.uk.

Tickets can be bought from The Spring box office on (023) 9247 2700 or online at thespring.co.uk