Our writer-in-residence for 2017, Sarah Perry & The Essex Read

This Spring we launch The Essex Read, a project that harnesses the power of reading to bring people together. We want to encourage the whole of Essex, whether lone reader or part of a book club, to be reading the same book: The Essex Serpent, by our festival writer-in-residence Sarah Perry.

Born and raised in Chelmsford, Sarah was the youngest of five daughters in a devout Baptist family. Growing up with limited contact with contemporary culture, she spent her days with church-related activities, classical music, novels and poetry. She says this early immersion in old literature and the King James Bible profoundly influenced her writing style. Her latest novel, The Essex Serpent is testament to this childhood experience, a gothic tale of love, belief, science and religion.

“A blissful novel of unapologetic appetites, where desire and faith mingle on the marshes, but friendship is the miracle. Sarah Perry has the rare gift of committing the uncommittable to prose – that is to say: here is a writer who understands life” Jessie Burton

We invite you to come together to discuss and share your thoughts, and meet the author, during Essex Book Festival.

Here’s an overview of the events that Sarah is involved in for this year’s festival.