London Literature Festival runs at the Southbank from October 21 to 31

Borrowing its theme of friendship from the title of Sally Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends, this year’s London Literature Festival reunites audiences with a series of talks, performances and debates.

The festival, which runs from October 21 to 31, features household names such as Michael Rosen and Kate Mosse and stars on the rise including Naomi Ishiguro and Mieko Kawakami.

Ted Hodgkinson, head of literature and spoken word at the Southbank Centre said: “We wanted to bring London Literature Festival back this year with a theme that resonated with the experience of the past year and a half while also giving us an opportunity to celebrate being able to gather together again.

“Like many people, I’ve been missing my friends, and I was struck by the way writers from Sally Rooney to Ece Temelkuran are placing the dynamic of friendship at the heart of their latest books, from novels to non-fiction.

Mieko Kawakami Photo: Reiko Toyama

“From the way social media is changing how we interact to the polarisation in our politics, there’s so much to discuss about contemporary friendship, but it’s also a chance for us to reflect on the stories we tell about our friendships and the joy, meaning and laughter they can bring to our lives.”

Acclaimed children’s author and poet Michael Rosen, award-winning poet and specialist nurse practitioner Romalyn Ante and writer and former nurse Christie Watson will share their experiences of the National Health Service and the friendship formed between carer and patient, in an event chaired by bestselling novelist Kate Mosse.

Novelist Tahmima Anam will join essayist Roisin Kiberd will discuss friendship and disconnection in the age of social media, in an event chaired by Jenny Kleeman.

Rising literary stars Caleb Azumah Nelson, Vanessa Onwuemezi and Naomi Ishiguro are set to reflect on the complexities of contemporary friendships forged in London.

This year’s London Literature Festival sees an exclusive from the world-famous artist and activist Ai Weiwei for a conversation about his widely anticipated memoir, 1,000 Years of Joys and Sorrows.

In addition, the festival line-up marks London Exclusives from Daisy May Cooper, creator and star of This Country, as she marks the launch of her memoir Don’t Laugh, It Will Only Encourage Her; comedian Jack Dee in a hilarious agony uncle session from the online-trained psychotherapist and author of What’s Your Problem?, and bestselling picture book maker Oliver Jeffers.

Main Pic: Malika Booker founded the writer’s collective  Malika’s Poetry Kitchen.Picture: Siro Micheroli

 


 

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