STROUD Book Festival, taking place from November 2-5, has announced The Snow Geese by William Fiennes as the Festival’s 2017 BIG READ.

The BIG READ’s mission is to get as many people as possible across Gloucestershire reading the same book at the same time, bringing together readers, reading groups, book shops and libraries.

It culminates in a headline author event at the Stroud Book Festival on Friday, November 3 from 8-9.30pm in Lansdown Hall, Stroud.

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Hawthornden Prize, The Snow Geese is a unique blend of autobiography, travel and nature writing.

William Fiennes is co-founder of the charity First Story, which supports creativity and literacy in challenging secondary schools.

Speaking about the event, he said: "The Big Read is such a great idea, and I’m really thrilled that The Snow Geese has been chosen for this year’s festival."

Anne Riley of Stroud Library said: "Stroud Library is delighted to be supporting the Big Read book The Snow Geese by William Fiennes, a true life story which reads like a novel… an ideal choice for readers who enjoy thought provoking writing."

Stroud Book Festival in November celebrates the rich literary world of Gloucestershire and will bring together celebrated writers, poets, illustrators and publishers, as well as authors and audiences from further afield.

There will be a diverse range of events including talks, writers’ workshops, childrens’ events, film, music, poetry and Stroud Short Stories.

Headed up by a team of established local authors and publishing professionals, and with Ian McEwan as patron, and  directed by Rachel Levay, Stroud Book Festival aims to put Stroud on the national literary stage.

Rachel said: "With over 30 events over the weekend featuring truly exceptional authors, illustrators, poets and performers, this year’s Stroud Book Festival promises to be a real treat.

"We want everyone to feel welcome, so there is something for all ages and a wide range of interests. It’s a festival inspired by the beautiful environment and creativity of Stroud, and we hope it will be fun and inspiring for those who attend."

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