The International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Manchester Science Festival: What’s your favourite number? With Alex Bellos

Alex Bellos, bestselling author of Alex Through the Looking-Glass and Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, dives into fractals, cones and curves to navigate a sea of numbers. Expect stories of eye-opening encounters with lively personalities all over the world as we learn how numbers have become our friends – and how they’ve changed the world. Calculus, rollercoasters, negative numbers and a shed in Illinois: it’s all here. He has even sifted through 30,000 survey submissions to reveal the world’s favourite number. By this talk’s end, Alex will have you hooked on maths. Ten out of ten. Click on the link below to purchase tickets, or call into the Burgess Foundation Mon to Fri, 10am to 2pm (tickets available from 8am on Wednesday 3rd September).



Booklaunch: Graphic Art of the Underground – from Psychedelia to Punk

Celebrating and discussing the history of graphic art from the underground 1965 to 1980, a decade and a half of controversies, and hidden histories, in a wide-ranging debate led by Dave Haslam and featuring Ian Lowey and Suzy Prince, the co-authors of a new book, The Graphic Art of the Underground: A Countercultural History and former co-publishers of the alternative arts and culture magazine, Nude. Copies of the book will be available to buy on the night. Tickets on sale with Quaytickets from Tuesday 7th October. Visit Facebook for more information.



Gothic Manchester Festival Conference: Gothic Spaces/Gothic Places

This day conference brings together some of the UK’s foremost gothic scholars to explore the spatial dimensions of the mode in an exciting and accessible way. There will be papers on the Lancaster witches, on dark green gothic and haunted forests, on gothic architecture, the psychology of place,  gothic psychogeography and much more. You don’t have to be a gothicist or an academic. Just bring your interest in and knowledge of the dark. From 10am – 5pm. Visit the Gothic Manchester website for full details.



Gothic Manchester: Memento Moriatas

The Memento Moriatas are a group of London-based writers and musicians who tell tales of death and destiny in unique architectural venues, such as the Kensal Green Cemetery or the Coffin Works in Birmingham.  For the Gothic Manchester Festival, Kate Mayfield, Kirsten Morrison and Lloyd Shepherd warmly invite the public to join them to hear deliciously dark tales of memoir, art and literature – with some stories and songs very much inspired by decidedly gothic works of art on show in the Manchester galleries. Lloyd Shepherd has written three novels, his most recent is very dark and includes magic, prostitution, madness and secret societies in Georgian London. He’ll work on including the Gothic landscape theme into his portion of the evening.



Gothic Manchester Talk & Film Screening: Gothic Romance and the Phantasmagorical

Dale Townsend (University of Stirling) talks about Gothic Architecture, Gothic History, Gothic Romance and Kenilworth Castle, 1800 – 1830, followed by a talk and film screening of Prepare to Enter the Phantasmagorical from David Annwn Jones, and finished with a Victorian lantern show. Visit the Gothic Manchester Festival website for full details and to book tickets.



Gothic Manchester: The Gothic Curiosity Shop

Following the phenomenal success of the Gothic Manchester Festival 2013, MMU’s Centre for Gothic Studies presents a programme of events designed to showcase Manchester’s rich vein of gothic talent. Visit the Gothic Curiosity Shop and take in an exhibition featuring work from artists Paul Koudounaris and Jonathan Hargreaves , along with curios and curiosities from bespoke jewellery artist Shabby Cheek. Open from 1pm – 5pm.



Tour: Unlocking the Anthony Burgess Archive

Take a look inside the unique and personal collection of books, original manuscripts, compositions, photographs, furniture, paintings, drawings and correspondence with contemporary writers and artists including Stanley Kubrick, Graham Greene and Angela Carter, all amassed by Burgess during his rich and varied lifetime. Join us as we take you on a journey which begins with stories of Burgess’s early life in Manchester, to Gibraltar during the Second World War and the final days of colonialism in Malaysia, onto an illustrious international career. We’ll show you some of the highlights of Burgess’s private collections and reveal little-known aspects of the writer’s life along the way. Tours are free and last for approx. 1 hour; only a small number of places are available. Contact [email protected] to reserve your place.



Booklaunch: Howard Jacobson, J

Born in Manchester, Howard Jacobson is one of Britain’s most acclaimed and prolific novelists. He won the 2010 Man Booker prize for his novel, The Finkler Question as well as the Everyman Wodehouse Award for comic writing for The Mighty Waltzer. A gifted satirist, he’s written about everything from family, friendships and relationships to the death of publishing. His latest novel J is a dystopian thriller in the tradition of Nineteen Eighty Four and Brave New World. Set in a future where the past is a dangerous country, J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying. Two people fall in love, not knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Are they acting of their own accord or have they been pushed into each other’s arms? And what is the momentous catastrophe – the event now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened – that dominates life in this world? Visit the 2014 Manchester Literature Festival website for booking details.



In conversation: Ben Watt with Rachel Cooke

A modern renaissance man, Ben Watt is a musician, songwriter, DJ, author and one half of bestselling pop duo Everything But The Girl.  His first memoir, Patient: The True Story of a Rare Illness, was a New York Times Book of the Year and described by William Boyd as ‘a fine testimonial to his fortitude and his power as a writer.’ His second memoir, Romany and Tom, is a funny, engaging and bittersweet tale of love and loss, ambition and stardom, life in clubs and life in care homes. Beautifully written, it chronicles the colourful lives of his parents – jazz musician Tommy Watt and RADA-trained actress and showbiz writer Romany Bain – their love affair, marriage and decline into old age. We’re delighted that Ben will be joining us for a rare ‘in conversation’ with Observer writer and fellow author Rachel Cooke. Visit the 2014 Manchester Literature Festival website for booking details.



In conversation: Barry Miles on William S. Burroughs

It’s been 50 years since Norman Mailer described William S. Burroughs as ‘the only American novelist living who may conceivably be possessed by genius.’ Radical, relentlessly political and fiercely experimental, with the publication of The Naked Lunch in 1959 and its censorship for obscenity, Burroughs became one of the godfathers of 60s counterculture. And his wild life was every bit as shocking as his work. In the seminal Beat writer’s centenary year, Burroughs’ friend and collaborator Barry Miles has published an authoritative new biography that shows us the mercurial man behind the cult figure and reveals his struggles with relationships, addiction and the conventions of a society in which he was a natural outsider.  The Times said of the book: ‘The life of this disturbing and disturbed man has never been so perfectly told.’ Miles will be in conversation with Doug Field.