Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s debut is the heartbreaking tale of what wanting a child can do to a person, a marriage and a family; a powerful and vivid story of what it means to love not wisely but too well. Shortlisted for the Baileys & Wellcome Book Prizes, Stay With Me was one of the great books of the year.
The 'American Dream' and 'America First' are two of the most loaded phrases in America today, and also two of the most misunderstood. Celebrated critic and professor of American Literature, Sarah Churchwell tackles the thorny topic of American identity in her enthralling new book Behold, America. Churchwell joins us to explore US political history and reveal a nation in a state of constant war with itself.
For twenty years Francis Spufford wrote very novelistic non-fiction, and in 2016 won the Costa, Ondaatje and Desmond Elliot Prize for his first novel Golden Hill, a piece of fiction steeped in fact. Francis discusses his most recent book, the essay collection True Stories, which reflects on different kinds of storytelling.
Twice Booker-shortlisted Jim Crace joins us to discuss his latest novel The Melody, an ecological fable for our times. The book follows recently widowed musician Albert Busi, whose chance encounter with a strange creature has repercussions for his town that spiral quickly out of his, and everybody’s, control.
Gina Miller came to prominence when she brought one of the most significant constitutional cases ever to be heard in the British Supreme Court, successfully challenging the UK government's authority to trigger Article 50. In her memoir Rise, Miller draws on a lifetime of fighting injustice to demonstrate that sometimes just one person can make a difference.
After a very public meltdown, Barry Cohen flees his life in New York for Texas in the pursuit of happiness and a second chance at love. Witty, irreverent and full of heart, Gary Shteyngart’s new novel Lake Success is a riotous, illuminating romp through Trump’s USA on a Greyhound Bus.
Children’s literature superstar Robin Stevens joins us to talk about the latest book in her best-selling Murder Most Unladylike series, in which Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong travel to Hong Kong - and Hazel is framed for murder! Join Robin as she leads a murder mystery session followed by audience Q&A and signing.
Celebrated novelist, and journalist Nikesh Shukla introduces a powerful new novel. Building on the themes and critical acclaim of The Good Immigrant collection Shukla edited, The One Who Wrote Destiny casts another unflinching eye on race and immigration. With wit, wisdom and sensitivity Shukla explores trauma and relationships across three generations of the Jani family.
Helen Pankhurst is a women’s rights activist and great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst. She is also the author of Deeds Not Words, a biography of the Suffragette movement published on the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote. In this talk, Helen explores the Suffragette movement, what has changed, and what there is still to achieve.
Trans Britain chronicles the struggle for trans rights in Britain. Editor and activist Christine Burns shares the testimonies of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today. Everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community from the community itself.
Acclaimed historian Jenny Uglow joins us to discuss her sumptuous new biography of Edward Lear, the celebrated poet and illustrator whose ‘nonsense’ popularised the limerick, and his times. From giving Queen Victoria drawing lessons to suffering from epilepsy and depression, Lear’s biographer will be with us to discuss the great man and what drew him to her.
In prose that is both lyrical and essayistic, Julian Fuks deploys a fictional self to explore the circumstances leading to his parents, a young militant couple in the resistance against the military regime in 1970s Buenos Aires, adopting a young boy before fleeing to Brazil and their life afterwards. Julian will be in conversation with his translator Daniel Hahn and Charco Press co-director Carolina Orloff.
In his new book, Dave Haslam documents his encounters with inspiring characters like Tony Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Neneh Cherry, Tracey Thorn, John Peel, Mark E Smith, Ian Brown, and John Lydon. Morrissey comes to tea; he discusses masturbation with Viv Albertine; he has a gun pulled on him at the Hacienda, a drug dealer threatens to slit his throat; Sonic Youth sleep on his floor; and a crew of lesbians in Paris save his life. Dave is an inimitable delight for fans of music and memoir.
Danny Dorling explains how the widening chasm between rich and poor has had dire implications for health, housing, education, demography, and politics in the UK. Today more than 99% are losing out. So how do we become more equal in an age of peak income inequality? And without a full-blown civil war? Inequality may have reached a peak, but it never falls without a fight.
A pervading sense of history and place as well as the inner lives of women connects Scottish writers working today: Sandra Ireland, author of Bone Deep, and Sarah Maine, author of Women of the Dunes. Join us for a discussion of their novels, writing practice and what it is like to be a female Scottish writer today.
She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England by Helen Castor has been adapted for performance by physical theatre artist Laura Careless with Dr. Castor as Historical Consultant and debuts in Edinburgh this August. Learn about the process of bringing the stories of England’s forgotten female rulers from page to stage!
Author Aminatta Forna, author of the Orange Prize-shortlisted The Memory of Love returns with her new novel Happiness, in which Attila and Jean, two strangers to London - and each other - share a chance encounter. Aminatta joins us to discuss this beautiful story of connection, past grief and the undercurrents of a big city.
Award-winning, playwright, poet, screenwriter and performer Sabrina Mahfouz joins us to discuss her diverse body of work. Already a celebrated figure in the arts, since 2017 Mahfouz has earned critical acclaim for her poetry- How You Might Know Me– her contributions to The Good Immigrant, She Grrrowls, and Don’t Panic I’m Islamic as well as editing The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write.
The first of two events featuring Edinburgh publisher Charco Press and their talented authors experimenting with fiction and autobiography. In Older Brother, author Daniel Mella attempts to narrate his brother’s fatal accident and navigate his own grief by using the future tense, in a luminous exploration of brotherhood and death. With Charco co-director Carolina Orloff.
The legendary Terry Eagleton draws on both his most recent work, Radical Sacrifice, and his newly-reissued classic Why Marx Was Right to consider the concepts which have underpinned our political thought for centuries, and shows that, when it comes to diagnosing the ills of modern society, some ideas don’t have a shelf life.
Inspired by the life of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, The Dictionary of Animal Languages is the debut novel by extraordinary new talent Heidi Sopinka. From wealthy English upbringing to discovering creative fulfilment and passion in interwar Paris, we follow artist Ivory Frame from youth to old age, and how life never fails to surprise us.
Described as the ‘wild card’ on last year’s Man Booker shortlist, Elmet is a stunning work of fiction by debut author Fiona Mozley. Daniel lives with his sister Kathy, and Daddy, whose desire for a simple, peaceful life is denied to him by men with power. A gothic novel of place, violence and family.
She Called Me Woman is a groundbreaking collection of queer women's narratives -beautifully told stories of resistance and resilience, joy and laughter, heartbreaks and victories, collecting the realities of queer Nigerians who will no longer be invisible. Editor Chitra Nagarajan discusses the anthology and its challenge to ignorance and stereotypes.
Sarah Moss has garnered a reputation for writing about place, family and what makes us who we are. In her new novel, Ghost Wall, teenager Sylvie goes along with her father’s hobby: acting out Iron Age life at an experimental archaeology camp. In a literary blending of old and new, Sylvie unearths an age-old narrative of male power and female solidarity.
Over the last 35 years, Victoria Crowe has established herself as one of Scotland’s leading painters whose work is instantly recognisable. Tying in with A Certain Light, an exhibition of her work at The Scottish Gallery this summer, Victoria discusses her work with Scotsman art critic Duncan Macmillan, who has literally written the book on the subject.
Russia is reshaping the world order to its advantage: this should trouble us all. Award-winning journalist Luke Harding discusses the true nature of Trump's decades-long relationship with Russia. In Collusion Harding tells an astonishing story of offshore money, sketchy real-estate deals, mobsters, money laundering, hacking and Kremlin espionage.
In 1940, during the Phoney War, a French destroyer blows up in the Firth of Clyde. Join author Neal Ascherson to explore his writing, and particularly how he captures this moment in the history of Clydeside. Atmospheric and brimming with historical detail, this novel is an unforgettable recreation of life in wartime.
Award-winning reporter Rania Abouzeid addresses the unravelling of a nation- peaceful protests collapsing into violence, families shattered by shelling, religious conviction sharpened to a radical point. Abouzeid shows Syrians continue to live and resist even as al-Assad's regime - and the threat of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State - tears their homeland apart.
Simultaneously silly and serious, Tom Gauld adds a lightness to traditionally highbrow themes in Baking With Kafka. Timely, distinctive and droll, it’s not hard to see why he is one of the most celebrated cartoonists working today. Come and watch Tom draw and chat about his life in comics - an event to make you laugh and make you think.
Monstrous Regiment’s Bi-ble collected intersectional bi voices and shared unique stories, voices and identities. That first anthology showed the need to elevate as many bi voices as possible- so the Bi-ble’s authors and editors join us for a bi book fringe bash; it's time to spread the good word.