Every Fall Since 1993

Chris Cleave

Master of Ceremonies

Chris Cleave
Photo Credit: Lou Abercrombie

Beloved 2010 Sojourn author Chris Cleave returns as Master of Ceremonies for our 25th annual festival. His newest novel, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, is inspired by a personal family story set during World War II and was an instant New York Times bestseller. “Cleave’s foray into historical fiction is both grand and intimate. The novel’s ability to stay small and quiet against the raging tableau of war is what also makes it glorious….an absorbing account of survival, racism, classism, love, and pain, and the scars left by all of them,” raved The New York Times Book Review. Cleave’s last novel, Gold, was hailed “a truly Olympic-level literary achievement,” by Publisher’s Weekly. His second novel, Little Bee, launched him into an international bestseller spotlight with a story inspired by his childhood in West Africa and an accidental visit to a British detention center. His critically acclaimed debut novel, Incendiary, told the story of a terrorist attack at a football match in London, winning a Somerset Maugham Award and the Prix Spécial du Jury at the French Prix des Lecteurs, as well as being short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. The Sunday Tribune calls Cleave’s novels “warm, witty and beautifully written stories about people caught up in the big issues of their times. And those are our issues – terrorism, immigration policy, third-way politics. Cleave doesn't wrap them in obfuscating allegory; he keeps them solidly and disconcertingly in the present day.” Cleave lives in London with his wife and three children, where he is a regular newspaper and broadcast contributor to the cultural debate on parenting, literature and human rights.

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