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Helen Taylor: Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives - Part of Derby Book Festival


Sponsored by Freeths

Ian McEwan once said, “When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.”

Helen Taylor’s book explains how precious fiction is to contemporary British women readers and how they draw on it to tell the stories of their lives.

Female readers are key to the future of fiction and — as parents, teachers and librarians — the glue for a literate society. Women treasure the chance to read alone, but have also gregariously shared reading experiences and memories with mothers, daughters, grandchildren, and female friends. For so many, reading novels and short stories enables them to escape and to spread their wings intellectually and emotionally.

Helen offers a cornucopia of witty and wise women's voices, of both readers themselves and also writers such as Hilary Mantel, Helen Dunmore, Katie Fforde, and Sarah Dunant. The book helps us understand why — in Jackie Kay's words — “our lives are mapped by books”.

2pm - 3.00pm.