10 November 2019
"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."
JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
We invite you to join the inaugural Queen Mary 2’s Literature Festival at Sea, in association with Cheltenham Literature Festival and The Times and The Sunday Times. This exclusive voyage offers book lovers an opportunity to join some of the best-loved authors and thinkers on both sides of the pond – and the smartest journalists – aboard Queen Mary 2 as you sail from New York to Southampton on a Transatlantic Crossing.
We are delighted to reveal our festival line-up; leading historians and cultural commentators, offering a unique and inspiring programme of events featuring stimulating conversations, interactive workshops and more.
Louis de Bernières.
From 1994 until 2015, James Naughtie was one of the main presenters of Radio 4’s Today programme, presenting his last programme in December 2016. Since then he has become the programme’s special correspondent. Naughtie had anchored every BBC Radio UK election results programme since 1997 and had worked on every US presidential election since 1988.
Mark Billingham is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular crime writers. His series of novels featuring DI Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel of the Year Award. His debut novel, Sleepyhead was published in 2001 and was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade. A television series based on the Thorne novels starred David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and a major new drama based on In The Dark and Time of Death was broadcast on the BBC in 2017.
Victoria Hislop is the bestselling and award-winning author of six books, including The Island, The Return, The Thread, The Sunrise, Cartes Postales from Greece, and a collection of short stories, The Last Dance and Other Stories. Her books have been translated into more than 35 languages.
Damian Barr is an award-winning writer, journalist and host of his own infamous Literary Salon. Maggie & Me, published by Bloomsbury, was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and the Sunday Times made it their Memoir of the Year. Permanently in search of the perfect martini, Damian writes for the Sunday Times magazine. He covers politics and culture in his monthly Big Issue column and has been a columnist for Attitude. Broadcaster and presenter Damian has hosted Radio 4’s Front Row and is a regular guest and contributor across BBC platforms including presenting The Writers of Rye for BBC TV.
Robbie Millen has been Literary Editor of The Times since 2013. He has also been deputy comment editor and a features editor for the Times. In the deep mists of time, he was a journalist at The Spectator and the Daily Express.
Anna Murphy joined the Times as Fashion Director in 2015, having previously been the launch editor of Stella magazine at the Sunday Telegraph. She considers herself proof positive that a love of clothes and of books can happily co-exist in one well dressed and well-read form.
Ella talks regularly at festivals and events, prescribing literature to whoever loves reading and needs some literary love. Ella set up the bibliotherapy service at The School of Life in Bloomsbury with co-founder Susan Elderkin in 2008. They then went on to write The Novel Cure: an A-Z of Literary Remedies and The Story Cure: How to keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise, now published in 20 countries.
Julia Wheeler is an experienced journalist and interviewer who worked for the BBC for more than 15 years, including as Gulf Correspondent. She continues to work as a freelance journalist. An alumna of the Faber Academy, Julia has been chair and interviewer at several festivals including Cheltenham (Literature and Science). Julia wrote the award-winning book Telling Tales: An Oral History of Dubai, capturing stories of court intrigue, pearl diving and gold smuggling, plus the early days of education and banking.
Wake in the morning and tune in to an inspirational poem or reading for the day in your stateroom, and perhaps join The Times journalists over breakfast to review the day’s headlines.
Meet a favourite author in the largest library at sea for a glass of champagne; relax at one of our literary afternoon teas, or simply indulge in some bibliotherapy with bespoke advice on your reading choices from our on board experts.
In a series of workshops with best-selling writers and experienced journalists, discover how to research your novel, practise your calligraphy, brush up on your public speaking or even write your memoir.
Enjoy a special series of film screenings celebrating some of the finest book to film adaptations, with introductions by knowledgeable critics.
More to be announced…