The National Book Council – Malta (NBC) is thrilled to announce that Anthony Horowitz will be the special guest at the 2024 Malta Book Festival (MBF 24), taking place at the MFCC, Ta’ Qali between 6–10 November.

The presence of a bestselling international writer of Horowitz’s caliber at the MBF 24 beautifully embodies the theme of this year’s edition: #bindingworlds — highlighting the power of literature to bring together readers from all walks of life.

The theme is also dynamically reflected in the MBF 24 artwork elements – created by illustrator Ed Dingli and incorporating four different ‘worlds’ of literary endeavour: where the work of acclaimed international authors exists alongside a wider literary output, and where the craft of books is elevated and celebrated, even by the youngest among us. Horowitz’s participation is introduced through the first ‘world’ – marked by a figure standing at the precipice of a journey into the unknown.

Born in 1955, Anthony Horowitz is a prolific British author whose work spans a variety of genres. Known among younger readers for his Alex Rider series of teen espionage novels, Horowitz was also notably licensed to produce fresh Sherlock Holmes and James Bond stories as blessed by the Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming estates, securing his position as an ever-dependable writer of high quality and hi-octane entertainment with a global reach. More recently, his ‘Hawthorne and Horowitz’ series — whose fifth book, Close to Death, was released last April — takes a playfully meta-fictional stab at the murder mystery genre, with Horowitz writing himself into the stories as a John Watson-like presence to the titular Detective Hawthorne.

Horowitz is also no stranger to the world of audiovisual entertainment, both through adaptations of his literary work and his own screenwriting efforts. The Alex Rider books have enjoyed both film and TV adaptations, while his 2016 novel, Magpie Murders, was made into an acclaimed BBC series starring Leslie Manville, whose six episodes were broadcast in 2023. As a screenwriter, Horowitz was behind notable successes such as Midsomar Murders and the BAFTA-winning series Foyle’s War.

Horowitz’s participation at the MBF 24 builds on a growing history of illustrious authors to grace the festival, with names like Salman Rushdie, Irvine Welsh, John Boyne, Naomi Klein, Joe Sacco and many others having participated at the event since its revamp from a fair to a festival in 2013.

“Needless to say, the National Book Council is excited to have an author like Anthony Horowitz headlining this year’s edition of the MBF. While the Festival remains an integral part of the country’s cultural calendar and a proud reference point for the National Book Council’s work, we would be remiss if we rested on our laurels without striving to provide genuine added value for all of our visitors,” National Book Council Executive Chairman Mark Camilleri said.

During the festival, Horowitz will participate in a number of events catering to various age groups and audiences. He will deliver a masterclass for writers, and participate in a show for children. Horowitz will also be interviewed on stage by Prof. James Corby, Professor and Head of the Department of English at the University of Malta, in what promises to be a wide-ranging conversation tapping into the rich and exciting fount of his prolific output.

However, Anthony Horowitz will not be the only high-profile guest to feature at the MBF 24. While the name of the second guest will be announced at a later date, Camilleri is confident that both guests will more than live up to the festival’s theme of #bindingworlds.

“Where Anthony Horowitz is at the top of his game when it comes to commercially successful fiction which provides pure escapist pleasure for its fans, our second guest is a decorated literary star whose hard-hitting work has garnered awards and near-unanimous critical acclaim,” Camilleri said.

“Taken together, our two guests will bring to the fore the richness and variety that lies behind our theme for this year’s edition of the festival: #bindingworlds. While worlds apart in terms of genres and artistic approach, the body of work presented by our guests showcases the versatile potential of the written word when put to work by masterful practitioners of the field,” Camilleri added.

The full programme of events for the 2024 Malta Book Festival (6–10 November) will be published in the coming weeks.

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