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Page turners and blockbusters collide as little book festival keeps on growing

Dalkey Book Festival has opened another chapter by lining up some heavyweights to share their literary experiences.

Stars at this years' event include Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne, film directors Jim Sheridan, Lenny Abrahamson and Neil Jordan, and U2's former manager Paul McGuinness.

Once described by Salman Rushdie as "the best little festival in the world", it runs from Thursday, June 11, to Sunday, June 14, and will take place in pubs, churches and the local town hall.

Dalkey's medieval graveyard, the Secret Garden marquee, the Seafront Marquee overlooking Dalkey Island and the Dalkey Masonic Lodge will all be open for events.

In its first year in 2010, 1,000 people attended. That figure has risen to 6,000 people last year, with even more expected to come this June.

According to organiser Clare Ridge the festival "keeps on growing and growing".

"We hope the fantastic line up draws more people to the festival than ever," she said.

The Muslim world's best-selling female author Elif Shafak, The Financial's Times' Simon Kuper and behavioural economist Dan Ariely are all also lined up.

Tickets range from €8 to €20 for events and are available at www.dalkeybookfestival.org.

A number of events are free for children.