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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 09 March 2020

Legacy Of Virginia Woolf Lives On As Charleston Festival Bring A Literary Giant & World's Most Famous Feminist To Sussex

Now in its thirty-first year, the Charleston Festival, based in Firle, near Lewes, is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary festivals in the world. 

Credit Ai Weiwei Studio

Staged across ten days each May, the Festival celebrates the creative and intellectual curiosity, radicalism and openness of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Virginia Woolf and the artists, writers and thinkers of the Bloomsbury group who all gathered at Charleston and dared to imagine society differently.

Early highlights of this year's Festival (15th – 25th May 2020) include literary giant Salman Rushdie, Booker Prize-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo and the 'world's most famous feminist' Gloria Steinem. 

Master storyteller Salman Rushdie returns to Charleston Festival for the first time in more than a decade to discuss his life and work. 

Just as Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirise the culture of his time, Rushdie's latest novel, Quichotte, takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse told with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of his work. 


Activist, academic and award-winning writer Bernardine Evaristo explores both heritage and modern life in her considerable body of work, shedding new light on what it means to be British. 

Evaristo has described her 2019 Booker Prize-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other, as 'fusion fiction', and her writing spans an enormous range of genres, from novels to poetry, verse fiction, short fiction, essays and literary criticism to radio and theatre drama. 

Since her early days as a journalist and feminist activist in the late 1960s, Gloria Steinem's words heave helped generations to empower themselves and work together. 

Now, in a rare visit to the UK, the feminist icon comes to Charleston Festival for the first time to speak about her latest book, The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!: Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion.

Susannah Stevenson, Artistic Director: Charleston Festival, Small Wonder and Literary Programmes, The Charleston Trust, said: 

"The creativity, impact and innovation of Salman Rushdie, Bernardine Evaristo and Gloria Steinem's work rings true with the spirit of the Bloomsbury group, and highlights the importance of challenging the status quo in valuable spaces for discussion like Charleston"

Tickets are on general sale now. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley




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Credit Olivia Rose

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Credit Phoebe Wingrove

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Credit Alberta Whittle

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Credit Jack McKain

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