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Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall and Prue Leith headline Cunard’s Literature Festival at Sea

London, 14th January, 2020 – Following last year’s roaring success, the ‘Literature Festival at Sea in partnership with Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Times and The Sunday Times’ returns in 2020 with an impressive line-up.

The event, curated by the programming team at Cheltenham Literature festival, will headline award-winning authors Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and Prue Leith on the seven-night extravaganza.

They will be joined by, amongst others, Kate Mosse OBE, Joanne Harris, Simon Armitage, Pam Ayers and Alan Johnson.

Alexander McCall Smith said: “On the great liners of the past, people had time to read books and talk about them. What a magnificent thing it is that Cunard has decided to recreate this. I look forward immensely to meeting readers, talking about books, and watching the broad Atlantic go by.”

Returning for its second year, the Literature Festival at Sea kicks off on the 1 of December 2020 with a seven day programme of literary events including talks and work-shops as Queen Mary 2 sails from Southampton to New York.

Throughout the week guests can listen to some of literature’s greatest writers in conversation and have the chance to meet them at intimate author signings.

Prue Leith said, “It’s been a dream to cross the pond on the Queen Mary 2. I love literary festivals because the audience are interesting readers, and one’s fellow speakers are, like me, delighted to take a break from solitary writing and join the chatting, eating, drinking real world — if a luxury liner par excellence can be called the real world.”

The festival will also review some of the finest reads of the past 12 months from both sides of the Atlantic.

Lee Powell, Vice President Brand and Product, Cunard said: “Our week-long literary festival is a celebration for book-lovers in a completely unique setting as they sail across the Atlantic on board the stunning ocean liner Queen Mary 2. This is a perfect setting for authors, poets, actors and artists to gather for a week of readings, talks, debates and special events.”

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