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Tennessee Williams once wrote: ‘Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you can hardly catch it going’ – something that seems especially apt in the world of festivals! No sooner has the Science Festival put away its bunsen burners and the Music Festival begun to tune up, than we find ourselves putting the finishing touches to what’s shaping up to be another stimulating and vibrant Literature Festival programme.

This year’s Festival theme explores memory and how it shapes us both individually and as a society. This autumn marks the 100th anniversary of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, and as we approach the centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014, we’ll be exploring the fundamental role memory plays in underpinning our lives, our wider culture, our interpretation of the past and our shaping of the future. We’ll also have a French focus at the Festival this year – with events on classic French fiction, a look at contemporary French life and politics, food and drink and an exploration of the fascinating Franco-British relationship.

The Festival tackles the biggest issues of the day with its new debate series Cheltenham Decides, and alongside
its vibrant mix of storytelling, fiction, poetry, history we’ll be welcoming some of the biggest names from the worlds of politics, comedy and the arts as well as offering fun for all the family in our children’s programme Book It!

Hope to see you at the Festival in October!