'Spies On Sunday' At Chiswick Book Festival

First edition of Thunderball to be won as Festival celebrates sixty years of James Bond

Chiswick Events

Chiswick Book Festival

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Fans of spy fiction – and non-fiction – are in for a treat next weekend, when the Chiswick Book Festival hosts a ‘Spies on Sunday’ afternoon on September 15 th celebrating the world of espionage. Top thriller writers such as Charles Cumming, whose latest book A Foreign Country is to be filmed by Colin Firth, will be discussing the influence of Bond’s creator Ian Fleming on the new generation of spy novelists.

Sixty years after the first James Bond novel was published, Fleming’s niece Kate Grimond, former chairman of Ian Fleming Publications, will look forward to the next Bond book, Solo, written by William Boyd, which will be published on September 26 th.

Real-life spy writers Roger Hermiston (Greatest Traitor: The Secret Lives of Agent George Blake) and Sinclair McKay (The Secret Listeners: Intercepting the German Codes for Bletchley Park) will discuss Fleming’s own brushes with espionage during the Second World War.

There’s a chance for Bond aficionados to win a valuable first edition of Thunderball, (pictured above ) as the first prize in the Festival’s fiendish James Bond quiz. It was donated by Fosters’ Bookshop in Chiswick, which sells a wide range of first editions, including several Bond books. The Spies on Sunday afternoon is sponsored by Orchards of London.

The James Bond quiz-sheet will be on sale all next weekend for £5, in aid of the Festival’s three reading-related charities – RNIB Talking Books, InterAct Reading Service and The Letterbox Club. Entries close on Sunday September 29 th, to give people time to wrestle with it after the Festival weekend.

There will also be spies galore in the Festival’s opening session on Friday evening, September 13 th, at 7.30pm in St Michael & All Angels Church. Award-winning spy writer Philip Kerr will be talking about his Berlin detective Bernie Gunther, with his wife Jane Thynne who has just published her first Clara Vine novel, about a British secret agent living in Berlin in the 1930s. It's the first time they'll have spoken publicly about how their lives and books overlap.

More than two dozen writers will speak and sign books over the weekend of September 12th to 15 th. As well as spies, there are sessions on history (Sir Max Hastings, George Goodwin), cookery (Lindsey Bareham, Jo Pratt), crime (Lucy Worsley, Lindsey Davis, Hilary Bonner), real life stories (Rula Lenska, James Bowen and Street Cat Bob), modern romantic fiction (Lesley Pearse, Dorothy Koomson), Jane Austen (Jo Baker, Emily Brand), sport (Simon Hughes, Oli Broom), diplomacy (Lord Hannay of Chiswick), politics and society (David Boyle, Harriet Sergeant, Stephanie Flanders), travel (Polly Coles, Celia Brayfield, Kate Pullinger), Bedford Park (Bryan Appleyard, Peter York) and many others.

There’s an ebook workshop explaining the mysteries of digital publishing as well as the Festival’s annual ‘getting published’ session chaired by writer and lecturer Celia Brayfield. Three recently published novelists – Colette McBeth, Liesel Schwarz and Sally O’Reilly - will be sharing their secrets. And a Children’s Festival on the Saturday morning.

Tickets are now on sale via the Festival website, where the full weekend schedule is published: www.chiswickbookfestival.net . Waterstones Chiswick will again be on site selling copies of books by all the authors.

The Festival is a non-profit-making community event, based at St Michael & All Angels Church & Parish Hall, near Turnham Green tube station. St Michael’s organises the Festival, which has raised thousands of pounds over the past four years for three charities that support reading, literacy and the arts. Other events take place at the Tabard Theatre, Chiswick Library and Chiswick House.

September 9, 2013