Distinguished literary figures from Leicester to be honoured

Two of Leicester’s best loved and most enduring literary figures are to be honoured by our University at its graduation ceremonies this month.

The University will honour the achievements of the award-winning children’s writer Anne Fine OBE, whose book Madame Doubtfire was filmed as Mrs Doubtfire starring Robin Williams, and poet Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze MBE who has been a an honorary Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Leicester since 2011. Both have contributed to the University’s increasingly popular Literary Leicester Festival.

The University will award honorary degrees to the two distinguished personalities alongside graduating students of the University of Leicester at De Montfort Hall on 19 January and 20 January.

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the 3pm ceremony on Thursday 19 January. She was appointed an honorary Creative Writing Fellow in 2011 and has appeared at events the University regularly. She is the author of eight books of poems and stories and has been described as a ‘one-woman festival’. Born in Jamaica, she now lives in County Durham.

Anne Fine will be conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the 11am ceremony on Friday 20 January. Born in Leicester, she was Children’s Laureate from 2001 to 2003 and has won numerous literary prizes, including the Guardian Award, the Carnegie Medal (twice) and the Whitbread (now Costa) Award (twice), and she was also twice Children's Author of the Year.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle said: “We are delighted to be able to confer honorary doctorates on two of Leicester’s favourite writers: Anne Fine, and Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze.

“With the honorary degrees conferred on Anne and Jean, the University starts out on a year of events and festivals designed to showcase Leicester’s amazing literary heritage. From the 50th anniversary of the death of playwright Joe Orton to a milestone birthday for popular former resident (and sometime writer) Adrian Mole; the University will be marking a series of big dates in Leicester’s written history – and we look forward to welcoming people from across the city to the celebrations.”