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


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Johannesburg_290Fiona Melrose: Johannesburg
BBC Radio 4: Open Book

Longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction with her debut novel Midwinter, our South Africa-based contributing editor flew back in to London for a chat with Mariella Frostrup ahead of the launch of her new novel: a hymn to an extraordinary city and its people, an ambitious homage to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, and a devastating personal and political manifesto on love.
First broadcast Sunday 23 July.
Listen now




to Thursday 30 November
Atlas_of_BeautyDulwich Literary Festival
Dulwich Books, Dulwich College, Dulwich Picture Gallery and other venues
Events individually priced or free

This year’s festival theme ‘Into the Light of Things’ brings together personalities including celebrated writers Alan Hollinghurst, Andrew Michael Hurley and Ali Smith, ITV Political Editor Robert Peston, renowned sports journalist Henry Blofeld and photographer and social media sensation Mihaela Noroc.
More info



to Wednesday 28 February
Potter_History_of_Magic_bookHarry Potter: A History of Magic
PACCAR Gallery, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Open daily except 24 to 27 December and 1 January
Adults £16; children, students and National Arts Pass holders £8; other concessions
In partnership with Bloomsbury

A major exhibition drawing together rare books and manuscripts from the British Library collection, deleted or amended chapters and original drawimgs by J.K. Rowling, artwork and sketches by Harry Pottter illustrator Jim Kay, as well as mystical miscellany from the Science Museum and the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. Supported by wide-ranging events including the Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures, Late at the Library evenings and panel discussions. More info


Tuesday 21 November
Three_Plastic_RoomsNew Czech Writing: Petra Hůlová in conversation with A.M. Bakalar and Peter Zusi
Waterstones, 82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EQ
6:30 pm
£6/£4 students

The highly acclaimed Czech author, playwright and activist launches and discusses her latest book, Three Plastic Rooms, in which a foul-mouthed Prague prostitute muses on her profession, ageing and the nature of materialism. Children of Our Age author A.M. Bakalar leads the discussion with Dr Peter Zusi of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
More info



Thursday 23 November
Harvest_of_ChronosConway Hall & Istros Books presents Slovenia: Image Music Text
The Library, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
6:30 to 10pm
Refreshments served. All welcome

An evening of Slovenian music, words, art and wine. Award-winning Mojca Kumerdej discusses her sweeping Reformation novel The Harvest of Chronos, plus a performance from flautist Nika Pinter and a special exhibition by photographer Anita Strasser depicting life in a hidden courtyard in Ljubljana. Meet and chat to the artists about their work whilst supping wine courtesy of the Embassy of Slovenia in London.
More info



Thursday 24 to Sunday 26 November
Simon_AmstellBeing a Man
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
Various times daily
Events individually priced
Day/weekend pass from £20

Three days of talks, debates and workshops about masculinity and power, Nordic masculinity, male identity and fatherhood, bullying, porn, teenage knife crime, music and more. Speakers include Simon Amstell, Robert Webb, Kevin Powell, Alan Hollinghurst and Antonythasan Jesuthasan.
More info


Tuesday 28 November
Lucky_OnesThe Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award
Waterstones, The Grand Building, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5EJ
6:30 pm
£5/£3 students

Meet four of the most exciting young writers currently working in the UK and Ireland. Minoo Dinshaw’s debut Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman is the biography of a great and strange British historian. With The End of the Day, Claire North has written a novel of life, death and everything in between. Julianne Pachico‘s debut collection of stories The Lucky Ones, mostly set in Columbia, brings together the fates of guerrilla soldiers, rich kids, rabbits and drug dealers. In The Lauras, Sara Taylor explores identity and relationships, set against a rolling backdrop of the North American landscape.
More info


Lincoln_in_the_Bardo_Waterstones_editionUnited States of Resistance: Lincoln in the Bardo
Waterstones, 82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EQ
6:30 pm
£6/£4 students

The literary salon celebrating writers who speak truth to power returns with an evening in celebration of George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Host Max Liu will be speaking to fellow critics Alex Clark and Alex Preston about this dazzling, deeply humane novel about Abraham Lincoln’s grief after the death of his young son.
More info




Heather_The_TotalityAn evening with Matthew Weiner
Waterstones, 203–206 Piccadilly, London W1V 9LE
6:30 pm
£5/£3 Waterstones loyalty card holders

The author discusses his debut novella Heather, The Totality with the host of the Man Booker Prize podcast, Joe Haddow. Renowned for the creation of Mad Men and his work on The Sopranos, Weiner’s forensic eye and extraordinary character work carry over into his fiction as he examines power privilege on a family level, whilst simultaneously addressing broader social structures.
More info




Thursday 7 December
Our_Young_ManVelvet Page
Waterstones, 203–206 Piccadilly, London W1V 9LE
7 pm

Velvet Page is an LBGT Book Club that meets on the first Thursday of each month. For December the focus is Our Young Man by Edmund White. If you haven’t read the book, go along anyway to meet like-minded readers. This event is not ticketed, but call or email to reserve a place.
More info




Monday 11 December
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
£5/limited concessions

Celebrated for landmark depictions of LGBTQ+ hearts and lives, new and leading writers join curator and host Paul Burston in seasonal havoc and sparkle. Survive this Christmas with Aunty Val, aka poet and comedian VG Lee, and author of the bestselling pamphlet You’re never alone with a pan-fried chicken, plus readings from Tony Peake, Susie Boyt, William Parker and Ian Elmslie.
More info


Wednesday 12 December
As_Kingfishers_Catch_FireAlex Preston on As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Birds & Books
Shakespeare and Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris
7 pm

The novelist and critic discusses his visually stunning exploration of birds in literature from Ovid to Ted Hughes, illustrated by Neil Gower. It’s a book to love and hold, to return to again and again, to marvel at the ways in which authors across the centuries have captured the endless grace and variety of birds.
More info