Opening Up | Joanne Harris Interview | Love your library
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Joanne Harris A Narrow Door

Opening Up | Joanne Harris Interview

Chocolat author Joanne Harris joins Kate in our virtual studio to talk about her new novel A Narrow Door which comes out on 4 August 2021. It’s the latest in the St Oswald’s Boys Grammar School series which started with 2005’s Gentlemen and Players. This darkly comic series is set in the north of England and features the eccentric Latin Master Roy Straitley. If you think you’re familiar with Joanne’s writing already, you may want to think again since her books don’t fit neatly into one genre: she’s covered France, cookery books, romance, psychological thrillers, vampires, Norse mythology, fairy tales, self-help advice for authors and even a Dr Who novel. She was only the fifth British female novelist to join the ‘Millionaire authors club’: the list of authors who’ve had at least one of their books sell more than a million copies in the UK. Joanne is our author of the month at Hampshire Libraries in July: for more information about her work visit our Joanne Harris feature blog.

This episode also features a conversation between Hampshire County Council’s Chief Executive John Coughlan who retires this month, and Emma Noyce who heads up Hampshire Libraries. John talks about the role he sees libraries playing in their communities and some of his favourite reads, including Middle England by Jonathan Coe, Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, William Trevor’s Love and Summer, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre, Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller , and, not forgetting, Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas. John Coughlan is chair of the trustees of BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity.

Kate and Hattie also talk about life getting back to normal at Hampshire Libraries, the start of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and three of this month’s unlimited collection for BorrowBox: When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors , The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste , and Eye of the Needle by Ken Follet, our Facebook online book club choice for July.

Thanks to Joanne Harris, John Coughlan and Emma Noyce, and our supporter BorrowBox, the library app that allows you to download eBooks and audiobooks straight to your phone or tablet. All you need is your library membership number and PIN.

And if you enjoyed this episode, why not take a listen of some of our others? You might like our interviews with Tracy Chevalier, Philippa Gregory and Katie Fforde.


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