Events | February 24, 2015

Oxford Literary Festival 2015 Schedule

The world renowned literary event in historic Oxford buildings runs from Saturday 21st - Sunday 29th March 2015.

The FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival has confirmed a stellar line up of more than 500 speakers from 20 countries for its 2015 programme. Acclaimed speakers and authors at the festival include the following names.

·         Amitav Ghosh

·         AC Grayling

·         Bettany Hughes

·         Philip Pullman

·         Judith Kerr

·         Kazuo Ishiguro

·         Alan Bennett

·         Diana Gabaldon

·         Ian Mortimer

·         Martin Parr

·         A.N. Wilson

·         Melvyn Bragg

·         David Lodge

·         Bill Oddie

·         Elif Shafak

·         Simon Schama

·         Jon Ronson

·         Frank Cottrell Boyce

·         T Jefferson Parker

·         Ian Bostridge

·         Celia Imrie

·         Mona Siddiqui

Booker Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro will open the 2015 FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival with a talk on his new novel, The Buried Giant, as part of a special preview event held on Thursday 12th March.

The Chancellor’s Lecture will be given by multi-award-winning Indian writer Amitav Ghosh who talks to historian Professor Chris Clark about history and fiction. Alan Bennett will interview Sir Nicholas Hytner, outgoing director of the National Theatre, as he is awarded the prestigious Bodley Medal.

Philip Pullman will speak on the twentieth anniversary of His Dark Materials, the most significant children’s books of the last fifty years, leading the popular Children and Young People strand which includes Judith Kerr, creator of The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog, as well as Gorilla author Anthony Browne, Charlie and Lola’s Lauren Child, Cressida Cowell who wrote How to Train Your Dragon and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce will launch his new children’s book The Astounding Broccoli Boy.

High-street champion Mary Portas will talk about her biography Shop Girl and Olivier Award winning actress Celia Imrie introduces her debut novel. Bill Oddie will give his humorous take on the wildlife-watching world.

Photographer Martin Parr talks about book design and tenor and Professor of Music Ian Bostridge discusses his Schubert obsession. Grammy-award winning African-American opera singer Jessye Norman will speak to Paul Blezard about her extraordinary life growing up in the segregated south, alongside specially selected pieces of music performed by the Orchestra of St. John’s.

Nobel-Prize-winning neuroscientist Professor Eric Kandel discusses the human mind and memory and Simon Schama will be talking about his life and work as historian and broadcaster. Author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg will be discussing his new novel Grace and Mary and the great healing power of literature with biographer Paula Byrne.

Will Hutton, one of the UK’s key journalists and economic commentators will be holding a talk examining the state of Britain today and tomorrow. Leading philosopher A C Grayling will also be examining today’s troubled times from a philosophical perspective and sharing the story behind his new collection of writings The Challenge of Things.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey will be debating with Oxford University Professor of Science and Religion Alister McGrath the relationship between religion and science.

Food and cooking are well represented with talks and tastings from Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, Stanley Tucci the Golden Globe-winning actor and food lover introducing his new family cook book and nutritional therapist to the stars Amelia Freer.

The official unveiling of the new Weston Library will take place on Saturday 21st March and will be inaugurated by the opening of the new exhibition Marks of Genius: Treasures from the Bodleian.  The exhibition will celebrate over two thousand years of creative genius with works from renowned poets, authors, scientists and composers which have been preserved in the library.

Keep up to date with all the latest details by visiting the website:

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival Director Sally Dunsmore said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm our full line up of internationally acclaimed speakers for this year’s FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival. The festival will once again bring together visitors from around the world with some of the most renowned authors, journalists, politicians, historians. We look forward to welcoming visitors to our acclaimed programme of events in the historic buildings of Oxford.”

Tickets for the 2015 Festival are now on sale. Visit for more information.