On the bill for Essex festival

Contributors to the Essex Book Festival (March 1-31) will include Damian Le Bas, author of The Stopping Places, which has been short-listed for Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year; Sara Maitland (perhaps best known for A Book of Silence), who in a session on “journeys and words” will be talking about her recent travels in the Sinai, the basis of her next book; and Xinran Xue, author of The Promise: Love and Loss in Modern China (which is reviewed this week in The Spectator by Rose George).

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