A panel discussion about the responsibility of writers and their readers presented in association with the London Review of Books.
Exactly a century ago, the first copies of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ to make it across the Channel in bulk from Paris were impounded by customs officials in Folkestone and burned for obscenity.
100 years later, one of the most courageous writers of our era was attacked in upstate New York. How do the examples of Joyce and Rushdie illuminate the responsibilities of writers in a consistently illiberal world, and of readers too?
Two celebrated writers answer that question through the lens of their own novels and essays, linked by the awful coincidence of two wars: Andrey Kurkov, the Ukrainian author of, most recently, 'Diary of an Invasion', and Maaza Mengiste, whose 'The Shadow King' was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and who has written about the Tigray War in the London Review of Books (LRB)
This event will be chaired by Sam Kinchin-Smith. Andrey will be on screen.
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020, this is an utterly captivating novel about female strength. Set during Mussolini's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King casts a light on the women soldiers written out of African history
Beneath the Lion's Gaze opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother's prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country.
Sick of life?
Murdered, you will be of greater interest than ever you were in life. Our hero meticulously plans his own demise, except for one detail: what if he suddenly decides he wants to live?
'Kurkov's eye for the absurdities of Ukrainian life is as sharp as ever' - Sunday Telegraph
Since the operation he has started to develop freckles, and his heart donor's mysterious widow seems to have moved in with him...
Spanning forty years, The President's Last Love is a hilarious satire on love, lies and life before and after the Iron Curtain.