BBC Arts has announced a year-long celebration of literature, with new programming across BBC TV, radio and online, as well as a festival in partnership with libraries and reading groups around the U.K.
"Cementing the BBC's commitment to in-depth exploration of literature, the programming reflects the breadth of the art form, from classics to contemporary fiction, from celebrated authors to the less well-known," the broadcaster said.
A highlight of the celebration of literature will be the landmark BBC Two three-part series The Novels That Shaped Our World, with an accompanying festival of programming. The series examines the novel from three perspectives: empire and slavery, women's voices and working class experiences. The films "will argue that the novel has always been a revolutionary agent of social change, spearheading shifts in both colonial and post-colonial attitudes, female equality and social mobility," the BBC reported.
BBC Arts acting director Lamia Dabboussy said the broadcaster "is committed to exploring novels that have had a huge impact on our lives, from the classics to contemporary fiction. We're hoping to get the nation reading, re-reading and debating novels through this year-long focus on literature across the BBC. Whilst not exhaustive, our programming aims to generate debate and to shed a light on the role of literature to entertain, challenge and spearhead social change since the birth of the English language novel 300 years ago."