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Diamonds on offer at London Literary Festival

    A reading from Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld's work, chaired by BBC Today programme presenter James Naughtie, will form part of the line-up for this year's London Literature Festival.

    The Israeli writer is nominated for the International Man Booker Award, the winner of which will be announced on May 22.

    The annual festival, held at the Southbank Centre, opens two days earlier with a readings from "10 of the greatest writers in the world", all of whom are in the running for the prize.

    Mr Appelfeld, an 81-year-old Holocaust survivor, is the author of 17 books , including Blooms of Darkness, which tells the story of the friendship between a Jewish child and a prostitute during the Second World War.

    Another highlight of the festival will be a guided tour around Hatton Garden - London's jewellery district - led by Rachel Lichtenstein, author of book Diamond Street - The Hidden World of Hatton Garden, and herself the daughter and granddaughter of diamond dealers.

    Ms Lichenstein will use a specially designed app to lead the tour around the area on Sunday June 2.

    For the second year in a row, Palestinian poet Rafeef Ziadah will be at the festival for the Poetry Parnassus, which takes place at the Royal Festival Hall on May 25. Ms Ziadah, who is a lecturer at the School of African and Oriental Studies, backs a cultural boycott of Israel and is a member of the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative

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