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“Reading the Future: Books, power, people, robots, and Dante”
The John Rylands Library was founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John, in 1900, and was a gift to the people of Manchester.
The Library holds one of the finest collections of rare books, manuscripts, and objects in the world.
Amongst its holdings are approximately 6,500 items belonging to the Dante Alighieri Collection, which boasts all but one of the 15 incunable editions of the Divina Commedia – a collection which few libraries can rival.
In this year’s annual lecture, acclaimed author and Professor of New Writing, Jeanette Winterson, will discuss the history and importance of the John Rylands Library, its construction and collections.
Through an examination of the social and political history of the Library, Winterson will focus on the importance of libraries in Manchester, which has recently been awarded UNESCO City of Literature status.
Professor Jeanette Winterson
Jeanette Winterson is a multi-award winning author and Professor of New Writing at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester.
She was born in Manchester, England, and adopted by Pentecostal parents who brought her up in the nearby mill-town of Accrington.
After reading English at Oxford University she wrote her first novel, 'Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit', when she was 23. It was published a year later in 1985.
Since then she has published more than a dozen books including the memoir 'Why be happy when you could be normal?' and, most recently, 'The Gap of Time', and has won various awards around the world for her fiction and adaptations, including the Whitbread Prize, UK, and the Prix d'argent, Cannes Film Festival.
In 2006 Jeanette Winterson was awarded an OBE for services to literature. She writes regularly for various UK newspapers, especially The Times and The Guardian. She was appointed Professor of New Writing at The University of Manchester in September 2012.
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