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Deborah Levy completes her ‘Living Autobiography’ trilogy – the first two volumes, Things I Don't Want to Know and The Cost of Living, won the Prix Femina Etranger in 2020 – with Real Estate, (Hamish Hamilton), a profound meditation on the things, both physical and psychological, that a woman might own. Levy herself writes ‘It was as if the search …
 
Scholar, musician, activist, raconteur and polemicist, Edward Said was one of the most celebrated and controversial intellectuals of the last century. Drawing extensively on interviews and archival research, professor Timothy Brennan provides the first full account of the many faceted life and mind of a uniquely inspiring and talented individual. T…
 
John Burnside’s new novel, Havergey (Little Toller), is set on a remote island in the aftermath of an ecological catastrophe. From our event in 2017, Burnside reads from the novel and is in conversation with Matthew Beaumont, author of Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London (Verso). The event is chaired by Gareth Evans, curator of film at the …
 
Joshua Cohen’s The Netanyahus blends fact and fiction to give ‘An Account of A Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family’. The year is 1959, and at Corbin College in New York academic Ruben Blum finds himself playing reluctant host to a visiting Israeli historian, a specialist in the Spanish Inquisition, wh…
 
Talking Politics: History of Ideas, David Runciman’s podcast introductions to the most important thinkers and theories behind modern politics, has been one of the few saving graces of a year of lockdowns, helping to make sense of our predicament through the revelatory ideas of Hobbes and Hayek, Fanon and Fukuyama, Bentham and De Beauvoir. To mark t…
 
Everybody has a body, a source of both pleasure and pain. In her latest book Everybody (Picador) Olivia Laing uses the life and work of the radical psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich as an investigative tool to uncover the strange, subtle and sometimes perverted ways we think about the physical object we function within. Fundamentally, this exciting and ch…
 
Described by Claire Louise Bennett as ‘lithe and ambitious’ and by Toby Litt as ‘a miracle in book form’, Isobel Wohl’s debut Cold New Climate (Weatherglass) is likely to be one of the most talked about novels of 2021. Encompassing the limits and expectations of love, life and family and the devastation and elation each of those can bring, and our …
 
Throughout her career and across her many books Jacqueline Rose has been teasing out the political implications of violence, and in particular the way it concerns and interacts with the social constructions of gender. In her latest passionate, polemical work On Violence and On Violence Against Women (Faber) she confronts the issue head on, taking i…
 
Helen Mort and Dan Richards were at the shop to talk about poetry and mountaineering. Mort read from her latest collection from Chatto and Windus, No Map Could Show Them (a Poetry Book Society recommendation), which recounts in Mort’s inimitable style the exploits of pathbreaking female mountaineers. Afterwards she was in conversation with Dan Rich…
 
In Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again (Verso)—spanning science and popular culture; pornography and literature; debates on #MeToo, consent and feminism—Katherine Angel challenges our assumptions about women’s desire. Why, she asks, should they be expected to know their desires? And how do we take sexual violence seriously, when not knowing what we wan…
 
Chris Power’s first novel A Lonely Man (Faber) is a powerful, menacing exploration of the nature of truth, fabrication and identity. ‘If you're a fan of existential crises’ writes Jon McGregor, ‘family dramas, Putin-era paranoias, and Bolaño-style multiplicities, and want to see them woven into one taut novel, you're in the right place.’ Chris Powe…
 
Beginning in San Francisco in 1981, the era of punk and nascent gay pride, Rebecca Solnit’s latest book Recollections of My Non-Existence (Granta) is a powerful memoir of growing both as a woman and an artist, drawing on the powers of literature, activism and solidarity in the face of an apparently unbreachable patriarchy. The struggle to find a vo…
 
Already well-known for her novels – Telex from Cuba, The Flamethrowers, The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner has over the past two decades been writing essays, reviews and reportage as insightful and surprising as her fiction. In The Hard Crowd (Jonathan Cape) she has selected 19 pieces, covering diverse topics: art, literature, music, politics with essa…
 
Joshua Cohen, one of Granta magazines ‘Best Young American Writers’ for 2017, was at the shop to read from and talk about his latest novel Moving Kings, published by Fitzcarraldo. Described by James Wood in the New Yorker as ‘A Jewish Sopranos… burly with particularities and vibrant with voice… utterly engrossing, full of passionate sympathy’, Movi…
 
From this 2018 event: In Municipal Dreams (Verso), John Boughton charts the often surprising story of council housing in Britain, from the slum clearances of the Victorian age through to the Grenfell Tower disaster. It’s a history packed with incident – with utopians, visionaries and charlatans, with visionary planners and corrupt officials – and B…
 
Holly Pester's debut collection, Comic Timing (Granta), is disorienting, radical and extremely funny; Pester has a background in sound art and performance, having worked with the Womens' Library, the BBC and the Wellcome Collection, and is an unmissable reader of her own work. She read from Comic Timing and was in conversation with Vahni Capildeo, …
 
Having an engineer as a father and an art school education, Paul Spooner became, predictably, a school-teacher, then a lorry driver. A chance meeting with mechanical model-maker Peter Markey in Cornwall led him to discover his true métier – the almost extinct profession of automatist, or maker of automata. Since then he has been relentlessly making…
 
Brigid Brophy (1929-95) was a fearlessly original novelist, essayist, critic and political campaigner, championing gay marriage, pacifism, vegetarianism and prison reform. Her many acclaimed novels include Hackenfeller’s Ape, The King of a Rainy Country, Flesh, The Finishing Touch, In Transit, and The Snow Ball – which Faber reissued at the end of …
 
In The Lark Ascending (Faber) Richard King, author of Original Rockers and How Soon is Now?, explores how Britain's history and identity have been shaped by the mysterious relationship between music and nature. From the far west of Wales to the Thames Estuary and the Suffolk shoreline, taking in Brian Eno, Kate Bush, Boards of Canada, Dylan Thomas,…
 
Following on from his bestselling and hugely entertaining Germania and Danubia, Simon Winder continues his idiosyncratic journey through Europe’s past with Lotharingia (Picador). Now almost forgotten, Lotharingia arose from the ashes of the Carolingian Empire and stretched from the North Sea coasts of what is now the Netherlands all the way to the …
 
In his book Conversations About Sculpture (Yale) art historian Hal Foster recapitulates the discussions he has had, over a period of two decades, with the legendary minimalist sculptor Richard Serra. Professor Foster, a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, was in discussion about his book, and about Serra's extraordinary work, with Ta…
 
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