Have you seen the film A Clockwork Orange? Did you know it was based on a novel by Anthony Burgess? Perhaps you did, but here, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, you could discover a whole lot more than is commonly known about this famous Mancunian and his works (he wrote thirty-three novels, twenty-five works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies, more than 250 other musical works, and thousands of essays, articles and reviews.) The Foundation is open to visitors, Monday to Friday, and there is a café, exhibition gallery, reading room and events space in what used to be the engine room of Chorlton Mill.
I like to visit the café, where I can check out the books on display – and perhaps buy one. Then I head downstairs to the gallery, where some of the Foundation’s extensive collection of items relating to the great man are exhibited. I have never been into the reading room (accessed by appointment) but those who want to research more deeply are welcome there. However, I do like to keep an eye on the many literary events that are held – mostly in the evenings – in what used to be the engine house of Chorlton Mill. I stay in touch via the email newsletter and attend as many events as I can. The IABF is a thriving cultural hub – especially for lovers of literature – which celebrates the achievements of a remarkably talented son of Manchester.