City Reads 2018

Presenting this year’s BIG READ for Brighton & Hove…

Sacred Country by Rose Tremain

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’  Salman Rushdie

 We’re all something else inside…

1952. Standing in a cold Suffolk field with her family, six-year-old Mary Ward has a revelation: I am not Mary. That is a mistake. I am not a girl. I’m a boy.

So begins Mary’s heroic struggle to change gender. Moving from the claustrophobic rural community of the 1950s to London in the swinging Sixties and beyond to the glitter of America in the Seventies, Sacred Country is the story of a journey to find a place of safety and fulfilment in a savage and confusing world.

‘I’m delighted that SACRED COUNTRY has been chosen for Brighton City Reads. It seems to me that this city, with its long tradition of tolerance and its talent for celebration is a place where Mary/Martin could have found happiness. To make this book live again for Brighton readers will be an honour.’ 

Rose Tremain

Key Dates

• 23 April 2018 – City Reads launches across the City on World Book Night • 13 May 2018 – Rose Tremain – in conversation with Nicolette Jones at Brighton Festival

From its launch on World Book Night (23 April) to the final event at Brighton Festival on 13 May, there are a wide range of activities on offer, aimed at encouraging residents across the City (and beyond) to get reading and start talking.

Highlights include: the return of our Booky Photo Booth at Jubilee Library (23 April – 5 May), crime writer William Shaw’s Bespoke Book Group podcast on Thurs 26 April, a themed film screening of Tomboy at Depot (Lewes) and of course Rose Tremain, live at Brighton Festival for the City Reads finale on Sunday 13 May.

‘As a trans person myself, I never saw trans characters in books (or in ‘real life’, for that matter) growing up. Even today, we are still lacking positive trans representation. Although Sacred Country is written by an author that isn’t trans, I was utterly gripped with the storyline and characters. The audiobook is read by a trans man which adds to the authenticity and is an example of the level of care and consideration when creating this book. As a film-maker, I could really visualise how well this would translate to a feature length fiction. And when the time comes, I hope the person to make the film is me!’  

Fox Fisher (Film maker, Trans Campaigner and Artist)