Saturday 4th December, 11.30am-12.30pm

Discussion with Alison Jack, Rachel Mann, Catherine Fox, James Robertson

Catherine Fox (Angels and Men), Rachel Mann (The Gospel of Eve) and James Robertson (The Testament of Gideon Mack) have all written novels wholly or partly set within the world of theological colleges or Faculties of Divinity. In this session, the particular appeal and significance of these literary settings will be considered from the very different perspectives of the three novelists.

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Catherine Wilcox (writing as Catherine Fox) is Academic Director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.  She is author of eight novels that explore themes of the spiritual and the physical with insight and humour. She has written a sports memoir about her quest for a judo black belt Fight the Good Fight: From Vicar’s Wife to Killing Machine and a YA fantasy novel Wolf Tide.  Her Lindchester Chronicles are published by Marylebone House/SPCK. She is currently blogging a new novel The Company of Heaven in monthly instalments.

James Robertson is the author of seven novels: The FanaticJoseph KnightThe Testament of Gideon MackAnd the Land Lay StillThe Professor of TruthTo Be Continued and, most recently, News of the DeadJoseph Knight won the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year, The Testament of Gideon Mack was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize, and And the Land Lay Still won the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year. Robertson is also the author of four short story collections, most recently 365: Stories, five poetry collections and numerous children’s books written in English and Scots. He runs the independent publishing house Kettillonia, and he is a co-founder and general editor of the Scots language imprint Itchy Coo, which produces books in Scots for children and young adults. 

Rachel Mann is an Anglican Priest, poet, writer and broadcaster based in Manchester. In addition to her philosophy training, she holds qualifications in Theology, Creative Writing, and English Literature, including a PhD on Nineteenth-Century Women’s Poetry and the Bible. She began writing poetry, liturgy and short stories in the late nineties as a result of major ill-health. She has also written feminist liturgical theology, cultural history and is a regular contributor to The Church Times. She has published twelve full-length books, including Dazzling Darkness and Fierce Imaginings, as well as contributing to many others. Fierce Imaginings was shortlisted for the international Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing, and her debut poetry collection, A Kingdom of Love was highly commended in the Forward Poetry Prizes. The Tablet described her novel The Gospel of Eve as ‘a clever, subtle, dark and theologically-driven tale.’