The Oxford Literary Festival 2020 – Saturday 28th March

Posted on 28/02/2020

Called the most elegant and atmospheric of literary festivals by none other than Colin Thubron, the Oxford Lit Fest is one of the highlights of the bookish year…

11am, St Cross College
Elleke Boehmer & Naomi Ishiguro: The Art of the Short Story

Elleke is a professor of world literature in English at Oxford and a successful novelist and biographer, recently receiving the Olive Schreiner Award for Prose and drawing praise from JM Coetzee. Her second collection of short stories To the Volcano tilts between north and south, ambition and tradition, and light and dark. Characters include an African student in England longing for her desert home and an Argentinian travel agent agonising about joining her boyfriend in New York.




12pm, Cohen Quad Lecture Theatre
Julie Summers–Dressed For War: The Story of Audrey Withers, Vogue Editor Extraordinaire

Historian, researcher, and author (Jambusters/Home Fires, Fashion on the Ration) Julie Summers tells the story of Vogue and its editor Audrey Withers during World War II when the magazine forged a new identity that set it up for the rest of the 20th century, explaining how Withers took the magazine far beyond the realm of stylish clothes into reporting both the plight of people living in war-torn Europe and beyond, and reflecting the lives of ordinary people at home, ensuring they were Dressed for War.



2pm, Sheldonian Theatre
Val McDermid and Emma Smith–Shakespeare & Marlowe: Rivals, Collaborators, or Aliases… an Early Modern Mystery

Crime writer McDermid and Shakespeare expert Professor Emma Smith discuss some of the mysteries around two giants of the English stage — Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Emma is professor of Shakespeare studies at Hertford College, Oxford, and the author of This Is Shakespeare: How to Read the World’s Greatest Playwright. She has published and lectured widely and her podcasts on Shakespeare and early modern dramatists are highly praised.



6pm, Oxford Martin School Seminar Room
Dominic Frisby–Daylight Robbery: How Tax Shaped Our Past and Will Change Our Future

Financial writer Dominic Frisby argues that there is a tax story near the heart of all of humanity’s defining events from the Magna Carta to modern political debates and considers whether there are alternative ways to fund services. Tax is power, says Dominic, and, without it, kings, emperors and governments lose their power. He argues that many of the problems we face today, including wealth gaps between the rich and poor and between generations, can be traced back to tax, and asks whether there are better ways to fund our public services, or whether tax is simply Daylight Robbery.