A Roundup of Events from the Literary World

  • Wednesday 29th January
    Forgotten Fiction Book Club: ‘Queens of Misadventure’

    Forgotten Fiction is a fun and thought-provoking book club which travels back in time each month to discover lost literary gems of the 20th century. This first session for 2020 kicks off on the theme of ‘Queens of Misadventure’, to discuss Sally Jay Gorce, the pink-haired heroine of Elaine Dundy’s sparkling, comic classic The Dud Avocado (1958), and Jane Bowles’ singular Two Serious Ladies (1943) a pair of wealthy, society women who descend into debauchery. Waterstones, 82 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6EQ. 6.30pm Find out more
  • Wednesday 29th January
    POLARIS headlined by Paul Bailey

    The January 2020 edition of the LGBTQ+ literary salon is headlined by the novelist and critic Paul Bailey, a biographer of queer legends. Reading alongside Paul this evening are Nathan Evans, author of Cnut; Jill Gardiner, author of With Some Wild Woman; John O’Connell, author of Bowie’s Books and SJI Holliday, author of Violet. Royal Festival Hall, Level 5 Function Room, Green Side, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. 7.30pm Find out more
  • Thursday 30th January

    Multi-award winning poet Robin Robertson headlines London’s premier evening of poetry and live music, in its first gig at Southbank Centre. Featuring comic poet Rob Auton and Next Generation Poet Jane Yeh, Out-Spoken is hosted by Joelle Taylor, with Sam 'Junior' Bromfield spinning the best in reggae, soul and R&B throughout the evening. Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. 7.45 Find out more
  • Wednesday 5th February
    Marian Keyes

    Join one of the most successful Irish novelists of all time to celebrate the publication of her much anticipated new novel, Grown-Ups. Marian Keyes has been writing international bestsellers about modern women in the modern world for over twenty years. Her books deal with contemporary issues, including addiction, depression, domestic violence and the glass ceiling, but are always written with compassion, hope and her trademark Irish humour. Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. 7.30pm Find out more
  • Saturday 8th February
    Developing Characters with Michael Donkor

    Do you wish your protagonists had more nuance and texture? In this workshop, participants will unpick the brilliant characterizations of novelists such as Zadie Smith, Deborah Levy, Doris Lessing and Colm Tobin, and through a range of exercises, find ways of creating protagonists that intrigue, provoke and linger in the reader’s imagination. Lab 1 Idea Store Whitechapel 321 Whitechapel Road London E1 1BU. 10am-4pm Find out more
  • Sunday 9th February
    Isabelle Allende: A Long Petal of Sea

    'I have been a foreigner all my life, first as the itinerant child of diplomats, then as a political refugee and now as an immigrant in the USA. Maybe that’s why a sense of place is so important in all my writing. Where do I belong? Where are my roots? Is my heart divided or has it just grown bigger?' At this London-exclusive event with writer and editor Erica Wagner, Allende discusses her new work of historical fiction, A Long Petal of Fiction, about exile and belonging. Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. 7pm Find out more
  • Thursday 13th February
    Eimear McBride: Strange Hotel

    Eimear McBride's third novel is fierce, honest, laced with desire and punctuated with black humour. McBride reads extracts of Strange Hotel live, followed by a discussion with journalist and broadcaster, Alex Clark, on the novel and its creation. Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX. 7.45 Find out more
  • Tuesday 17th February
    An Evening with Petina Gappah

    Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean lawyer and writer, whose debut story collection An Elegy for Easterly won the Guardian First Book prize in 2009. Her new novel Out of Darkness, Shining Light that has already been hailed as one of the books of the year tells the story of the body of the explorer David Livingstone and the sixty-nine men and women who carried his remains for 1,500 miles to bury him in his own country. Daunt Books, 83-84 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW. 7pm Find out more
  • Monday 24th February
    Leila Slimani: Sex and Lies

    Leïla Slimani was the first Moroccan woman to win France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt for her novel Lullaby. Her latest book Sex and Lies (Faber) departs from fiction to explore the lives of and give a voice to the young women of Morocco, struggling to survive and thrive in a deeply conservative, patriarchal culture. Slimani will be in conversation about her work with Professor Amia Srinivasan. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, WC1A 2JL. 7pm Find out more