Aasmah Mir. Credit: Ben Wulf
Aasmah Mir. Credit: Ben Wulf

Boswell Book Festival: Rose Reilly, Jackie Kay, John Niven and Aasmah Mir all set to feature

Boswell Book Festival is back this year and features stories from two living legends of WW2, a Tik Tok sensation from the Hebrides and Ayrshire’s own world cup winner.

Football legend Rose Reilly, who became the only Scottish person to have won a football world cup while playing for Italy in 1983, kicks off the festival.

Also starring on the opening evening is former Scottish Makar Jackie Kay, and actor Doon Mackichan, renowned for her signature roles in Two Doors Down and Smack The Pony.

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of D-day, the second day of the festival will feature the stories of two Veterans of World War II.

Olga Henderson, aged 92, and 100 year-old Patricia Owtram will describe their incredible experiences of the war as a Japanese prison camp survivor and code-breaker at Bletchley park. 

Sunday’s programme features Times Radio presenter, Aasmah Mir, on the highs and lows of growing up between two cultures in Glasgow and chart-topping poet Donna Ashworth with more than 1.2million followers on her gift of bringing hope in challenging times.

Ayrshire-born, international best-seller and screenwriter, John Niven, will also share stories from his memoir about his brother’s death and the life that led up to it.

Kirsty Logan, Len Pennie, and Shetlander Jen Stout will also all be in attendance.

The festival, held 10-12 May at the Dumfries House in Ayrshire, is the world’s only festival dedicated solely to biography and memoir.

‘Now in our thirteenth edition our unique theme of biography and memoir reinforces our reputation for attracting the finest writers and performers to what has become one of south-west Scotland’s major cultural events,’ said festival director, Caroline Knox.

‘Ever since founding the festival I have taken huge pride in hosting a remarkable group of WW2 survivors, many of whom wrote compelling memoirs which have added to the ever-changing narrative of how the conflict is described. 

‘With the passing of time, this as left a rare band of heroes to tell their tales, so I am thrilled that Olga and Patricia will take centre stage at this year’s festival.

‘Apart from creating a distinguished roster of established writers, it’s equally important for the future of biographical writing to promote and recognize merging writers who have chosen non-fiction as their genre.’

For more information on tickets, authors and the event schedule visit https://www.boswellbookfestival.co.uk/2024/events

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