AN AWARD-WINNING author was full of praise for a Tyne Valley bookshop.

To mark national Independent Bookshop Week, Pat Barker gave headed to Forum Books, a converted chapel in the centre of Corbridge, on Monday evening, where she also picked up the prize for book of the year for her latest novel The Silence of the Girls.

Mrs Barker, who won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1995 for The Ghost Road, said: “I came to Corbridge on an evening for a performance of Ben Myers’ The Gallows Pole which included songs and it was a fantastic evening, and quite a unique, different and innovative book launch.

“ When I was queuing outside, it was clear from conversations that this was a local community hub and I think that is what independent book shops do well. I wanted to come here as it’s a nice, intimate atmosphere, and it’s my only time in a pulpit.”

The visit from Pat Barker kick-started a busy week during Independent Bookshop Week, which runs between 15 and 22, at Forum Books.

Katherine Rundell (Tuesday), Brian Bilston (Wednesday) and Gemma Koomen (Thursday) are scheduled to visit Forum, with a total of 15 children's authors lined up for Saturday. Ronan Hession had visited on Sunday.