Best-selling authors appearing at St Albans Literary Festival

Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton - Credit: Archant

An author whose first novel smashed to the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list is appearing at the grand finale to the inaugural St Albans Literary Festival.

Naomi Wood

Naomi Wood - Credit: Archant

Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist was the fastest-selling debut since Fifty Shades of Grey, and was even commissioned as Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime in July.

It tells the story of a wealthy, dysfunctional merchant family living in 1686 Amsterdam, under the watchful eye of a mysterious miniaturist, and focuses on two women’s very different journeys to find a slice of freedom in a repressive, judgmental society.

Jessie will be appearing at a special Literary Dinner taking place at St Michael’s Manor in St Albans at the end of the four day festival on November 9 at 7.30pm.

She will be talking about her personal journey in writing the book, and what we can look forward to with her second novel.

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Jessie will be joined by fellow best-seller Naomi Wood.

Winner of a Jerwood Fiction Prize this year, Naomi’s wonderful book Mrs Hemingway tells the story of how it was to love – and be loved by – the most famous writer of his generation.

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Set against the backdrop of bohemian Paris in the 1920s to 1960s Cold War America, Mrs Hemingway is narrated by Ernest Hemingway’s four wives. Naomi will talk to us about the background behind her book and how she set about writing it.

Both authors represent the best of this year’s contemporary fiction and this delicious and emotionally charged event is sure to be a fitting end to this year’s Literary Festival.

Tickets cost £55 per head and include one copy of either book to be specified at point of purchase, both books will be available to purchase on the night. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available.

Please note that seats cannot be reserved and although the festival organisers hope you will be seated with your friends this cannot be guaranteed.

The St Albans Literary Festival is presented by the Herts Advertiser in association with The Book Midwife, and runs from November 6-9 at key locations across the city. For full details on what’s happening and how to buy tickets, visit the website at There’s still time to enter the fantastic competitions running as part of the festival. The St Albans Drabble is a 100-word short story competition for three different age groups, and a children’s poetry competition based around smiling has been organised on behalf of Grove House Hospice. For full details on how to enter, visit the website and click on the Competitions tab.

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