The festival, running from November 9 to 17, will also feature best-selling author Jodi Picoult, whose new novel is called A Spark of Light; historian and TV presenter Lucy Worsley, who will be talking about her latest book The Many Faces of Queen Victoria; and Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, who turns the spotlight on some forgotten but ground-breaking women from history
in her book Bloody Brilliant Women.
BBC world affairs editor John Simpson and economics editor Kamal Ahmed will be talking about their respective new books.
Simpson, who has covered many major conflicts around the world, brings his experiences to debut novel Moscow, Midnight, while Ahmed’s has penned an account of growing up in 1970s Britain among a culture of racism and suspicion.
Former Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger will be considering why news reporting and analysis in a world of fake news and post truth is more important than ever, and the broadcaster and former stand-up comedian Viv Groskop will be offering advice on how women can be more effective public speakers.
The festival will also welcome Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, who has written a biography of Tudor statesman Thomas Cromwell, and former Ford car worker James Anthony, who has re-written all of Shakespeare’s sonnets for a 21st century audience.
For younger festival-goers, there will be a day of fun with Andy Stanton, the creator of the best-selling Mr Gum books.
The festival will also celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Beano with a drawing workshop lead by Nigel Auchtertounie, artist for the famous comic, and there will even be a workshop to create a unicorn Christmas decoration with theatre designer Judy Reaves.
Festival director Annie Ashworth said: “The focus this year is on non-fiction with the important themes of news and current affairs, as well as addressing important issues for women.”
All events, except Sir Michael Parkinson, will take place at the newly re-named Stratford Play House.
Visit stratlitfest.co.uk for tickets and further details.