National book launch at Devon library

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National book launch at Devon library

Posted: 16/01/2008 16:36:47

A Devon County Council library has been chosen for a national book launch of a debut novel from Michael Joseph/Penguin publishers, which is partly set in Devon.

First time novelist Karen Maitland's book The Company of Liars is being hotly anticipated, and so the publishers have decided to launch it with a round-library tour of Britain.

Four libraries have been chosen in the South West, amongst them Honiton Library.

The event, on Monday 11th February, will include a question and answer session with the author, and local storyteller Clive Pig dramatising the prologue and start of the book.

Although the book covers a wide geographical area of England, it opens in Devon at the Midsummer Fair in Kilmington. The East Devon village had a charter to hold an annual fair on this day in the Middle Ages. At the fair, the character Camelot first meets the rune-reader, Narigorm.

The book takes the reader back to the plague era of the 14th century, and is reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales.

As well as being the year the plague arrived on British shores, 1348 was a year of rapid climate change, when it began raining on Midsummer's Day and didn't stop until Christmas Day, exactly six months later.

The problem was so severe that the Pope ordered special prayers to be said daily in every church. Crops failed and the flooding caused by the constant rainfall allowed disease to thrive and also virtually wiped out the salt industry on the east coast. A volcano erupted in Iceland and sent clouds of poison gas to drift over Europe.

Karen Maitland's book has crafted a fabulous tale of misfits banding together in adversity, only to turn upon each other as the land around them falls to rack and ruin.

Executive Member for Culture, Cllr Sheila Hobden, said: "This is excellent news as we were amongst many libraries that pitched for the event. We are delighted that Honiton was chosen, although not surprised, as it has a wonderful track record of lively local events and plays a big part in the town's community."

The Company of Liars event will be held at Honiton Library on Monday 11th February at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from Honiton Library 01404 42818 price 2 Copies of the book will be sold on the evening by the Curious Otter Bookshop.


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