A Manual for Heartache - With Richard Beard, Max Porter and Cathy Rentzenbrink

Friday 26 May
Adnams Spiegeltent, Chapelfield Gardens
2 - 3pm
£8 / £80 weekend ticket

How do you make sense of great tragedy? For Richard Beard, Max Porter and Cathy Rentzenbrink, writing has provided a means of discussing their personal trauma and coming to terms with what they each lost. Join us for an honest yet uplifting discussion of family, loss and strength which will address the healing power of words, and whether reading can prepare us for living with heartache.

Richard Beard is a Goldsmiths Prize-shortlisted writer who has published seven novels, including his most recent, The Day That Went Missing. Max Porter is the author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize and a ‘Best Book of 2015’ in the Independent, Irish Times, Spectator, the Guardian, and the New York Times. Cathy Rentzenbrink is the author of two incredibly moving memoirs, The Last Act of Love and A Manual for Heartache.

WEEKEND TICKET: Purchase a ticket for all three days of the City of Literature weekend for £80! Call the box office on 01603 766400.

MULTI-BUY DISCOUNT: Purchase tickets for four or more events at the City of Literature weekend and receive £1.50 off each ticket. Call the box office on 01603 766400.

About the writers

Richard Beard’s most recent book is Acts of the Assassins, which was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. In the twenty years since his first book he has published critically acclaimed novels and narrative non-fiction, including Becoming Drusilla, the story of how a friendship between two men was changed by a gender transition. He was formerly Director of the National Academy of Writing in London, and is now a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo and has a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. He is an optimistic opening batsman for the Authors Cricket Club. Website

Find out more about The Day That Went Missing


Max Porter is Editorial Director of Granta and Portobello Books. His debut novel Grief is the Thing with Feathers was published in 2015 and will be translated into 23 languages. It won the International Dylan Thomas Prize. He lives in South London with his wife and children.

Max is part of the International Literature Showcase.

‘Max Porter's 'joyful linguistic invention' wins him young writer of the year award’ (Guardian, Sep 2016)


Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall, grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in London, where she works as a writer and journalist. She is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling memoir The Last Act of Love, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. Website