EVENT REVIEW: Chibundu Onuzo and Sarah Winman: Fantastic Fiction

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15th October

Durham Town Hall (Burlison Gallery)

Review by Gabriel Brown

Two authors. Two new books to add to the reading list.

It was great to hear two authors, one brand new and one a few books into her writing career, talk about their latest work.

One great thing about the event was that it was chaired by Anita Sethi, who I was lucky to have met earlier on in the day. It was highly interesting to watch how an experienced interviewer/journalist handled the event and questions. I picked up a few ideas from that itself.

As per usual, both authors gave a reading, and again, they were consistent with the high standard on show throughout Durham Book Festival. They were both fantastic and highly interesting, adding yet another couple of books to my never-ending reading list.

An unexpected thing which occurred at the end of the event was Chibundu gracing us all with some signing; this certainly livened the event up and led to a valid audience question: “when’s the CD coming out?”

As my final event to attend and review, it in no way disappointed. It was packed full of fun and entertainment, as well as fascinating information – which I have grown accustomed to from Durham Book Festival’s events. As a plus, it was also held in the Burlison Gallery, a nice accommodating space for an almost cosy event like this, with relaxed readings and the like.

It was great to hear two new books being read aloud and discussed. It’s always a good sign when you’re enticed to go out and buy the books afterwards.

Cuckoo Review is an arts journalism programme for young writers aged 15-23. Through the Cuckoo Reviewers in Residence programme at Durham Book Festival, young people have reviewed festival events and books, and have interviewed featured authors. For more information about Cuckoo Review visit