The Booker Prize-shortlisted author of A Tale for the Time Being returns. Centred on 13 year old Benny Oh after the death of his beloved father, The Book of Form and Emptiness is both a vivid portrait of a small family enduring unimaginable loss, and a powerful meditation on how books can provide meaning and order in a tumultuous world. With early admirers including Dave Eggers, Matt Haig and David Mitchell (the latter of whom said: ‘if you’ve lost your way with fiction…let The Book of Form and Emptiness light your way home’), it is hotly tipped to be one of 2021’s biggest books. Chaired by Alex Clark.

Books available to accompany this event

Click the book cover below to buy now
from our Waterstones Cheltenham Literature Festival bookshop.
Every purchase supports Cheltenham Festivals.

The Book of Form and Emptiness plus backlist


Cheltenham Town Hall, Pillar Room

The Town Hall, situated on Imperial Gardens in the centre of Cheltenham comprises of a Grand Main Hall, distinguished by its Corinthian styles columns and coved ceiling. The Main Hall is accompanied by dining and drawing rooms, as well as the Pillar Room bar.

The venue’s early 20th century Edwardian elegance makes it the classic ‘shoebox’ concert hall. With a seating capacity of 900, the Town Hall is perfectly suited to grand symphony orchestra performances with a thrilling impact.


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