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Author Scarlett Thomas presents new novel at Lancaster LitFest

John Freeman
Lancaster LitFest has added an extra event to its Spring season, with novelist Scarlett Thomas, who teaches creative writing at the University of Kent, booked for a special reading in May.

Her last novel, The End of Mr YThe End of Mr Y, was an international bestseller, selling 150,000 copies and long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2008. She'll be bringing her new novel, Our Tragic UniverseOur Tragic Universe, to the Storey Auditorium, The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster on Tuesday 25th May at 7.45 pm.

In this new novel, if Kelsey Newman's theory about the end of time is true, we are all going to live forever. But for Meg - locked in a dead-end relationship and with a deadline long-gone for a book that she can't write - this thought fills her with dread.

Lost in a labyrinth of her own devising, could there be an important connection between a wild beast living on Dartmoor, a ship in a bottle, the science of time, a knitting pattern for the shape of the universe and the Cottingley Fairies?

"Smart, entrancing and buzzing with big ideas, Our Tragic UniverseOur Tragic Universe is a book about how relationships are created and destroyed," says Scarlett of the novel on her web site, "and how a story might just save your life."

Scarlett Thomas's other novels include Bright Young ThingsBright Young Things, Going OutGoing Out and The End of Mr YThe End of Mr Y, described by the author Philip Pullman as "Ingenious and original. A cracking good yarn, fizzing with intelligence".

Currently working on her ninth novel, The Seed Collectors, her work has been translated into more than 20 languages, and along with the Orange Prize nomination, she's also been shortlisted for the South African Boeke Prize. In 2001 she was included in the Independent on Sunday's list of the UK's 20 best young writers, and in 2002 she won an Elle Style Award for the novel Going Out.

As well as her novels, she's written short fiction and articles for various anthologies and publications, including Nature Magazine, the Guardian and the Independent on Sunday, and had stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

• Tickets for the event are £7.50 / £6.00 concessions – with £3.00 off the price of the book on the night.

• Tickets for the reading can be bought online at, in person at Lancaster’s Visitor Information Centre at the Storey Creative Industries Centre, or by calling 01524 582394.

• Scarlett Thomas Official web site: