Latitude Loves… Literature

As part of our weekly Latitude Loves series, we’re shining a spotlight on some recent literary works from three of our artists – some of which will be discussed at Barclaycard Presents Latitude 2023!

Fern Brady, Strong Female Character
Fern Brady pulls no punches in this Sunday Times Bestseller. After a relatively recent diagnosis, she has laid bare her experiences navigating the world as an autistic woman, shunning sentimentality in favour of brutal honesty. Brady’s memoir also touches on a number of the hurdles she has overcome on the road to her status as one of the country’s most beloved comedians: her experience growing up with a working class family in Bathgate, moonlighting as a stripper to finance her university studies and experiences of mental health issues and domestic abuse. Throughout the memoir, Brady allows herself to be vulnerable to her reader, in doing so totally shattering the cliché implied by its title. Hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure, Strong Female Character is a fascinating exploration of the challenges of neurodiversity, as well as a cathartic rejection of social veneers – throughout which Brady’s trademark ice-cool wit sparkles.

image of fern brady

Simon Armitage, Never Good with Horses: Assembled Lyrics
From songs written for his ambient post-rock band LYR to verses from the BAFTA-winning Feltham Sings, this new collection charts Simon Armitage’s lyrical ventures over the past few decades. Armitage, who was appointed Poet Laureate in 2019, describes the point at which music and poetry meet as a “twilight zone”, guiding us through this realm of convergence in this anthology. Framed by an “Intro” and “Outro” outlining his endeavours and offering an insight into his approach to music and language, Never Good With Horses beautifully showcases the diversity of Armitage’s repertoire, his “dry Yorkshire wit” and his musical talent, all of which single him out as one of the finest writers of his generation.

image of the band LYR, featuring Simon Armitage

Laura Lexx, Pivot
Pivot has received rave reviews since its release last year. It tells the story of three very different women – 58-year old best friends Jackie and Ros, and 30-year-old Jay. They’re each facing complications in their personal lives, each desperately in search of something new and fulfilling, which they finally discover as they are brought together by their love for the “beautiful game” – netball.

In her outstanding debut novel, Laura Lexx has assembled a host of charming, yet refreshingly real characters whose exploits will have you laughing out loud. Pivot is all about finding your feet: Lexx reminds us that “You can’t fail if you’re still doing it; you just haven’t finished yet.” It’s a wonderful celebration of the power of female friendship, and a heartfelt look at the curveballs – and literal balls – that life can throw at us.

image of laura lexx

Join us in Henham Park this July, where you can catch Fern Brady and Laura Lexx discussing their works at the Listening Post, while Simon Armitage will be taking to the BBC Sounds Stage with LYR. Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s Latitude Loves to find out about even more of the acts you can expect to see at this year’s festival!

Tickets for Barclaycard presents Latitude 2023 are on sale now.