The author of ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ and the former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy will be among the leading speakers at the fourth edition of the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival. Dr Matthias Strohn, a senior lecturer in the war studies department at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, will also be launching his new book ‘The Royal Gibraltar Regiment 1939- 2014’.
Making the announcement on Friday at the Garrison Library, Tourism Minister Samantha Sacramento, together with Festival Director and Chief Executive of the GTB Nicky Guerrero, said the festival brought Gibraltar together and was “a wonderful cultural event” which this year will run over four days from 20 to 23 October.
This is the first time names have been announced so early in the year in an event that continues to go from strength to strength. Also confirmed are food critic Jonathan Meades, Boyd Tonkin, and Sally Bayley.
“This year we have managed to secure some top names which are very popular in Gibraltar and whose presence will, no doubt, ensure that the festival is another resounding success,” she said.
Ms Sacramento spoke of the literary festival being an outstanding consequence of its event-led tourism policy which is “yielding fruit year after year, with this and other high profile events held throughout the year, which have had a tremendous positive impact on the Rock’s social and cultural calendar. It is also helping to put Gibraltar on the map as a unique tourist destination for quality cultural and leisure events.”
The festival, she emphasised, was part of the Government events-lead tourism strategy which was the reason why it is so important to start marketing it as soon as possible. It was being marketed in the Costa del Sol and all the destinations where Gibraltar flies to.
Festival Director Nicky Guerrero confirmed their website would also be live as from now. The festival he added would once again feature the schools festival which has become a major feature of the event.
“They are meeting our youngsters, meeting the future of Gibraltar and this is part of the festival that our guests most enjoy and appreciate.”
Louis de Bernieres is a famous English author well known for his 1994 novel ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,’ which was later adapted into a film. Admiral Lord West served in Gordon Brown’s Labour Cabinet (2007-2010) as Parliamentary Undersecretary for Security and Counter-Terrorism. An outspoken opponent of Scottish independence, in 2011 he contributed a piece for the book ‘What Next For Labour? Ideas for a New Generation,’ arguing in favour of increased defence spending.
As other authors were also confirmed, Mr Guerrero, said some of those who have visited us in the past will again return this year and was – “a testament to Gibraltar and the festival.”
Food critic and film maker for the BBC Jonathan Meades will be discussing his forthcoming cookbook ‘The Plagiarist in the Kitchen.’ Boyd Tonkin will be delivering the Gibraltar Lecture which he recently gave at the Oxford Literary Festival, examining references to Gibraltar in classic literature while Dr Sally Bayley will lead an interactive lecture on the art of diary writing. Dr Bayley is a tutor in 2 English at Balliol and St. Hugh’s Colleges, Oxford and is completing a study of the diary and journal as a form of literary and social self-construction.