London’s oldest literary festival announces first 2022 events


The first of over 70 talks, performances and panels taking place at the 70th anniversary Jewish Book Week early next year have been announced, as London’s oldest literary festival returns in-person.

Events announced and now on sale include Booker-winner Howard Jacobson launching his much-anticipated memoir Mother’s Boy in conversation with Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis and Claudia Roden discussing her career and latest cookbook Med with Jay Rayner.

Jewish Book Week has taken place each year since 1952, making it one of the longest-running book festivals in the world. After reaching a global audience of 25,000 with its first online festival in March this year, following record ticket sales of over 15,000 in-person in 2020, the 2022 edition takes place from 26 February – 6 March, in-person at Kings Place as well as 14 online events.

Speakers for this first wave of events include Harvard Professor Emerita Ruth Wisse,Peep Show star turned novelist Isy Suttie, Canada’s former leader of the opposition Michael Ignatieff, New York Times bestseller Amy Bloom and historians Christopher Andrew and Helen Fry.

The festival will open on 26 February with the latest in a series of specially commissioned staged readings directed by Tristram Powell (Talking Heads) and produced by Honor Borwick (The Favourite). With previous performances celebrating great writers having featured Alison Steadman, Toby Jones and Celia Imrie, a star cast to be announced will honour Ronald Harwood and his play Taking Sides. A Ridley Road panel will look at the BBC1 series, the novel it was adapted from and the anti-fascist 62 Group that inspired it. World-renowned cellist Steven Isserliswill be joined by actor Dame Janet Suzman and journalist James Jolly for an evening of conversation and performances around Bach. Natalie Livingstone provides insight into the unknown half of one of the world’s most famous families in Women of Rothschild, while Jewish Theater of New York founder Tuvia Tenenbaum will be in conversation with Countdown presenter Rachel Riley.

Jewish Book Week director Claudia Rubenstein said: “We are so excited to be back in-person for our 70thanniversary in the wonderful setting of Kings Place, as well as continuing our relationship with our online audience and can’t wait to share the full line-up in January to go alongside these 12 brilliant events announced today.”