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Glenda Jackson Cancellation

7th April 2001

Change In British Election Date Forces Glenda Jackson Cancellation

British MP and former actress Glenda Jackson has had to cancel her appearance at this year's Auckland Writers' Festival because of the postponement of the general election in Britain.

British prime minister Tony Blair has postponed the general election from May 3rd until June 7th due to the country's foot and mouth disease epidemic.

The festival is being held on 25th-27th May at the Hyatt Regency and Old Government House.

Ms Jackson, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate, was to be the guest speaker at the festival's finale dinner. She was also appearing with Pulitzer-prize winning author Jane Smiley, acclaimed British novelist Sarah Waters and New Zealand's Patricia Grace and festival co-founder Stephanie Johnson at "Girls' Night Out On The Town" on Saturday 26th May.

"Naturally we're extremely disappointed Glenda Jackson is unable to participate in the festival," says Stephanie Johnson. "As she said to us, she deeply regrets having to withdraw, 'but democracy costs'.

"We've already identified several possible replacements in the UK, the US and Australia and we're having discussions with their agents and publishers. We will definitely be replacing her with someone of a similar calibre."

Johnson says there's already been a high level of interest in next month's festival, which is now in its third year. "We've got an extremely impressive line up this year and are sure it will be the best festival yet."

It features 11 international writers including Amy Tan (The Kitchen God's Wife and The Bonesetter's Daughter), Joanne Harris (Chocolat and Blackberry Wine), Edward Rutherfurd (London and Sarum), Richard Flanagan (The Sound of One Hand Clapping) and David Malouf (The Great World and Remembering Babylon) as well as 80 New Zealand writers.

Public bookings open on Monday 9th April, and the programme is available from bookshops and libraries and can also found at the festival's website www.akwritersfestival.co.nz

Issued on behalf of the Auckland Writers' Festival by Professional Public Relations.


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