A selection of bookshop readings, performances, literary lunches, salons, festivals and other writerly goings-on are listed here and regularly updated. Please send details of any forthcoming events you’d like us to feature to events @ bookanista . com


to Sunday 30 June
The Typographic Dante
National Poetry Library, Level 5, Blue side, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm

Journey from Hell, through Purgatory, to Paradise with artist Barrie Tullett in an exhibition of works responding to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Tullett has created 100 typographic illustrations, each of which responds to a Canto of Dante’s unfolding narrative, giving an opportunity to experience the whole journey of the Divine Comedy in one visual experience. Each work was made using a different ‘obsolete’ technology: wood and metal type, a typewriter and Letraset.
More info


to Sunday 15 September
Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE
10 am to 6 pm, Tuesday to Sunday; to 9 pm Thursday

What can magic and conjuring tell us about the human mind? This new exhibition brings together the worlds of psychology and entertainment in search of the truth about deception. Artefacts on display include the head of the gorilla costume worn by Derren Brown, Harry Houdini’s ‘Bell Box’, Tommy Cooper’s fez and Paul Daniels’ sawing-in-half box. With an accompanying book, The Spectacle of Illusion, by magician-turned-experimental psychologist Dr Matthew L. Tompkins, and a live performance programme on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
More info


Monday 20 May
Man Booker International Prize Readings 2019
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

Alongside the annual Man Booker Prize shortlist evening, Southbank Centre is proud to host its international counterpart for the first time, the night before the 2019 winner is revealed. The 2019 shortlist comprises Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth (Sandstone Press), The Years by Annie Ernaux, translated by Alison L. Strayer (Fitzcarraldo Editions), The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann, translated by Jen Calleja (Serpent’s Tail), Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Fitzcarraldo Editions), The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated by Anne McLean (MacLehose Press) and The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated by Sophie Hughes (And Other Stories).
More info


Sunday 26 May to Sunday 16 June
Tishani Doshi: Small Days and Nights UK & Ireland tour
Tishani Doshi’s second novel is a heartbreaking, astute and endlessly surprising story of two sisters previously unaware of each other’s existence, who are united by their mother’s death and make a home together in a ramshackle house on a spit of wild beach in Tamil Nadu. Catch her at Hay, Listowel, Heckfield Place, Dalkey and Jikoni, London.

Sunday 26 May
Hay Festival: Alys Conran and Tishani Doshi, 5:30 pm

Monday 27 May
Hay Festival: The TES Panel: Books That Inspired Me, 10 am

Thursday 30 May to Sunday 1 June
Listowel Writers’ Week: Love, Death and Breaking News creative writing workshop, 9 am to 12:30 pm daily

Monday 2 June
Listowel Writers’ Week: Tishani Doshi and Kit de Waal, 3 pm

Sunday 8 June
The Assembly at Heckfield Place, Hampshire: Small Days and Nights performance
7 pm

Sunday 15 June
Dalkey Book Festival
Beyond #MeToo, 12 pm
The Art of Storytelling, 1:30 pm

Monday 16 June
Jikoni, Bladford Street, London: Civilised Sunday Series – In Conversation with Tishani Doshi, 6:30 pm

More info


Monday 27 May
James Ellroy in conversation
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm

The American crime writer, acclaimed for his ‘LA Quartet’ novels – The Black DahliaThe Big NowhereLA Confidential and White Jazz – makes his first London appearance in five years to present his latest novel This Storm in a pre-publication London-exclusive event in collaboration with Penguin Live. The second novel in Ellroy’s second LA Quartet, following Perfidia (2014), This Storm is a historical crime novel set in a Los Angeles and Mexico gripped by war fever and racial hatred in the wake of Pearl Harbour.
More info


Thursday 30 May
Jeanette Winterson: Frankissstein
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:15 pm

Set across three centuries and multiple narratives, Frankissstein is an audacious exploration of identity, technology and sexuality which considers what will happen when Homo sapiens are no longer the smartest beings on the planet – and suggests we are much closer to that future than we realise.
More info


Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June
Zee Jaipur Literature Festival at the British Library
British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
10:30 to 6:30
Day pass £25/£22/£14 concessions
Weekend pass £35/£32/£25 concessions

Two days of talks, ideas and music, as a taster of the world’s largest literary event which takes place in the Indian city of Jaipur each January. Speakers include Carlo Pizzati, Deepa Agarwal, Jeffrey Archer, Manisha Koirala, Marina Warner, Pico Iyer, Ruth Padel, Tristram Hunt, William Dalrymple and Yasmin Khan.
More info


Wednesday 19 June
Dalloway Day
British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
A celebration of one of the 20th century’s most important novels, seeking to make Virginia Woolf and Mrs Dalloway to London what James Joyce and Ulysses are to Dublin with the annual Bloomsday. In partnership with the Royal Society for Literature.

For There She Was: Love and Presence in Mrs Dalloway
4 to 5 pm
£10/£7 concessions

Renowned scholar Professor Dame Gillian Beer in discussion with fellow Woolf biographer Alexandra Harris.
More info

After Woolf with Monica Ali, Olivia Laing and Elif Shafak
7 to 8:30 pm
£15/£12/£10 concessions

Three writers explore why Mrs Dalloway remains a touchstone for authors today, and investigate what Woolf’s words still do to provoke, challenge and interrogate attitudes to class, mental health and race.
More info


Thursday 17 June
Literature Matters: Breaking Ground with Val McDermid and Jeanette Winterson
British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
7 to 8:30 pm
£15/£12/£10 concessions

Two bestselling authors reflect on the ways in which crime fiction has developed over the last half century, how what we read shapes the people we are, and whether we should all be listening more closely to writers.
More info


Sunday 30 June
Shabbak Literature Festival
British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
10:30 am to 6:30 pm
Day pass £18/£14 concessions

A day of conversation and readings with writers from across the Arab world and diaspora. Leïla Slimani, Inaam Kachachi and many others explore contemporary Arab feminism, the rise of queer memoir and creative writing, Kurdish literature in English translation, the contemporary historical novel and more. Supported by the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
More info


Tuesday 2 July
Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:15 pm
£12; limited concessions

In an exclusive London event, the internationally acclaimed poet reflects on his writing life and his debut novel, written in the form of a letter to a mother who cannot read. The letter traces a family history back from present-day America to Vietnam, and bears witness to the love between a single mother and her son, while offering a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity.
More info


Saturday 6 July
New Daughters of Africa
British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
7 to 8:30 pm
£15/£10 concessions

25 years after Margaret Busby’s Daughters of Africa anthology, a new companion volume brings together the work of over 200 writers from across the globe to showcase the remarkable range of creativity from the African diaspora. The editor is joined by Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Nadifa Mohamed, Namwali Serpell and Bernardine Evaristo to celebrate the global sweep, diversity and extraordinary literary achievements of Black women writers.
More info