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 Sunday 18 February
Imagine_bannerImagine Children’s Festival
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Various times daily
Events individually priced or free

Twelve days of half-term fun in the annual festival run by kids for kids, including talks and activities around books, art, theatre and film. Be tickled by Roald Dhal’s Revolting Rhymes, wriggle along to dance-theatre Tidy Up and join radio personalities and debut authors Greg James and Chris Smith for an action-packed Kid Normal event.
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


to Sunday 8 April
Pooh_V&A_posterWinnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
Gallery 38, V&A, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL
Daily 10 am to 5:30 pm
Fridays to 9:30 pm
£8; members and under 12s free; various concessions

The timeless and universal appeal of the much-loved bear and the story behind the creative partnership of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard are brought to life through innumerable pencil drawings and finished art works, manuscript pages, first editions, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics, fashion and interactive installations.
More info




to Sunday 29 April
Spanish Landscape with Mountains circa 1924 by Dora Carrington 1893-1932Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings
Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, Cornwall TR26 1TG
Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 4:20 pm
Free for members or with Locals’ Pass

Virginia Woolf spent much of her childhood in St Ives. This exhibition will act as a prism through which to explore feminist perspectives on landscape, domesticity and identity in modern and contemporary art – with works by over 80 artists, including Laura Knight, Gwen John, Vanessa Bell, Winifred Nicholson, Sandra Blow, Barbara Hepworth, Claude Cahun and Dora Carrington.
More info


Monday 26 February
Lifting_the_VeilKamila Shamsie and Penelope Lively introduce Penguin Women Writers
Waterstones, 82 Gower St, London WC1E 6EQ
6 for 6:30 pm
£6/£4 concessions including a glass of wine and a 15% discount on featured books

Penguin Women Writers celebrates the centenary of women getting the vote in Britain. Curated by two of the UK’s most acclaimed contemporary writers, this project features four often overlooked classics: Birds of America by Mary McCarthy, Meatless Days by Sara Suleri, Lifting the Veil by Ismat Chughtai and The Lark by E. Nesbit. Join Penelope Lively and Kamila Shamsie as they discuss the importance of the project and the titles they have selected.
More info



Friday 2 March
Power_of_PoetryThe Power of Poetry with William Sieghart and Jeanette Winterson
Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW
7 pm
£40/£25 students including a £5 donation to Forward Arts Foundation and the NSPCC

A special event from Intelligence Squared to celebrate the positive, transformative force of verse. William Sieghart tells the extraordinary story of his bestselling book The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul, and is joined in conversation by novelist and poetry devotee Jeanette Winterson. Bringing poems to dramatic life is a cast of star actors including Helena Bonham Carter, Sophie Okonedo and Sue Perkins.
More info


Monday 5 March
Mermaid_and_Mrs_HancockAn Evening of Historical Romps
Waterstones, 82 Gower St, London WC1E 6EQ
6:30 for 7 pm
£8/£6 students or £15 event + book

Join the debut author of one of 2018’s most hotly anticipated historical novels, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock for an evening in 1780s London’s brothels, coffee houses and drawing rooms. Over a glass of wine, Imogen Hermes Gowar talks to critic, journalist and bookseller Alex Peake-Tomkinson about her new book, as well as exploring why a good historical romp delights, excites and entices its readers.
More info



Tuesday 27 March
Reading_CureThe Reading Cure: How Books Restored my Appetite with Laura Freeman
Waterstones, 82 Gower St, London WC1E 6EQ
6:30 pm
£8/£6 students or £18 including a copy of the book

Journalist and author Laura Freeman speaks to critic Lucy Scholes about her new bibliomemoir. The Reading Cure recounts how Laura, diagnosed with anorexia at fourteen, rediscovered how to enjoy food (and life) through reading. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.
More info




Wednesday 14 March
Devils_DanceNew Uzbek Fiction: Hamid Ismailov in conversation
Waterstones, 82 Gower St, London WC1E 6EQ
6:30 pm
£8/£6/£12 ticket + book including wine

Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek journalist and writer who was forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992 and whose works are banned in his home country. He is the author of numerous acclaimed Russian-language novels. The Devil’s Dance is the first of his Uzbek novels to appear in English. Join Hamid as he speaks to journalist and translator Anna Aslanyan about this virtuosic exploration of culture brutally suppressed by dictatorship. More info

Can’t make it? Watch out for events on 27 March at Daunt Marylebone, 5 April at Pushkin House and 12 April at London Book Fair.


Monday 9 to Sunday 15 April
London Book and Screen Week
Soho House and other venues
Various times daily
Events individually priced

A citywide celebration of books and the films, TV programmes and virtual worlds they inspire. Highlights include a Q&A with Jojo Moyes followed by a screening of Me Before You; biographer Fiona Sampson and novelist Nick Harkaway discussing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein followed by a screening of Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 adaptation; and a screening of Suffragette with Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, author of Deeds Not Words and a consultant on the film.
More info