The Big Read, Brighton

Working with the Booker Prize Foundation to bring literary fiction to university students

A picture of a mermaid agains a red background with a huge orange sun.

2021 Monique Roffey

The Big Read 2021 was the Costa Book Award winning The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey, published by Peepal Tree Press. This year, we collaborated with New Writing South to provide an online event with the author. We distributed free copies of the ebook to students across the university and the author, Monique…

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Cover of Anna Burn's novel titled Milkman, Pink sky over Irish seascape

2019 Anna Burns

The Big Read 2019 is Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber): As the novel opens, middle sister is being harassed by a 41-year-old paramilitary officer nicknamed the Milkman. He appears suddenly, like a phantom, stepping out of a wall to walk with her or driving up alongside her to offer a ride, casually indicating…

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Cover of Moshin Hamid's book Exit West

2018 Mohsin Hamid

2018 is the Man Booker Prize’s 50th anniversary and Professor Debra Humphries, Vice-Chancellor, joined publishers and past winners at a reception hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall at Buckingham Palace to celebrate. We are celebrating our sixth year as partners in the universities’ initiative through which first year students are given a free Booker-nominated novel and…

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Cover of Emma Donoghue's book titled Room

2017 Emma Donoghue

The University of Brighton is proud to be working in partnership with the Man Booker Prize Foundation again, in the fifth year of our Big Read, bringing contemporary literature to students and staff. For 2017, our Big Read novel was Emma Donoghue’s Room. The Big Read is a campaign in association with Man Booker to encourage first…

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Book cover of Karen Joy Fowler - We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - a silhouette tree against yellow background

2016 Karen Joy Fowler

As part of Big Read 2016, students and staff at the University of Brighton were given a free copy of the book and invited to hear Karen talk about how she created such a story that is all at once heart breaking, thought provoking, funny and surprising. Karen was a brilliant guest with fantastic practical…

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Cover of Linda Grant's novel titled The Clothes on their Backs showing a wardrobe of clothes and shoes from the 1960s

2015 Linda Grant

The book for 2015 was The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant and free copies were being given out to first year students via their course leaders, libraries and the Students’ Union. The author joined us at the university in the Sallis Benney Theatre on 30 November. This event was open to everyone and was…

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Cover of Jim Crace's novel titled Harvest, white writing on painted background of abstracted fire and corn imagery

2014 Jim Crace

This year’s book was Harvest by Jim Crace and the author came to the Sallis Benney on 21 October. He gave a reading from Harvest and was interviewed by Kate Aughterson. Finally there was a question and answer session. Harvest is set in an unnamed English village, as wholesome as the title suggests. Feudal and medieval, it is on…

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Cover for Ali Smith's novel called The Accidental: shows a young woman with a box camera lying on the grass with eyes closed

2013 Ali Smith

The book follows a middle-class English family who are visited by an uninvited guest, Amber, while they are on holiday in a small village in Norfolk. Amber’s arrival has a profound effect on all the family members and consequences of her appearance continue even after the family has returned home to London. Here is what,…

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