The Humans is chosen as book for City Reads

Matt Haig will talk about his book at The Old Market on November 1
Matt Haig will talk about his book at The Old Market on November 1

One city. One book. A thousand conversations. Such is the goal of City Reads.

The Humans PBOne city. One book. A thousand conversations. Such is the goal of City Reads in Brighton and Hove, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year.

That makes it the longest-running "big read" in the United Kingdom.

Delivered by Collected Works CIC, an award-winning literary organisation, the annual event aims at spreading a love of books and ideas to the widest possible audience across the city and beyond.

Sarah Hutchings has revealed that The Humans, by Matt Haig, has been chosen as this year's book. Everyone in the city will be encouraged to read it, discuss it, debate it, and creatively engage with it in a series of special events, workshops, and performances.

Ms Hutchings explained the background: “It all started in 2005, with Alice in Wonderland. I was working at Brighton Festival as a literature programmer and was approached by Penguin Books, who were celebrating their 70th Anniversary. They asked me if I thought a ‘big read’ would work in Brighton. I said ‘yes’ without hesitation and City Reads was born.

"I was taken aback at how quickly and enthusiastically Brighton and Hove took to the idea. This year’s choice is a life-changer. The Humans is funny, sad, and profound - the city is going to love it."

Described as a laugh-and-cry book, published by Canongate, has attracted praise from leading writers, including Jeanette Winterson and Stephen Fry. The film rights were recently sold to Tanya Seghatchian, a producer known for her work on Harry Potter films and the BAFTA-winning My Summer of Love producer.