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 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
Free

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

 

Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 September
Noirwich Crime Writing Festival
Dragon Hall, the University of East Anglia and Jarrold department store, Norwich
Various times daily
Events individually priced

The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival returns with a new line-up of renowned crime writers. A limited number of Season Passes and individual event tickets are now on sale. Headliners for 2019 include George Alagiah, Louise Doughty, James Ellroy and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, each making their first appearance at Noirwich. Other confirmed authors include James Runcie, Denise Mina, Lisa Jewell, Sarah Hilary, Martin Walker, Erin Kelly, Leye Adenle, Simone Buchholz and Laura Shepherd-Robinson.
More info

 

Friday 13 September
Palestine 2048: Science Fiction and the Future Past
Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London NW1 2DB
7 pm
£12/£8 under-18s/other concessions

To mark the launch of Palestine + 100, a new anthology of short stories set a century after the Nakba, Comma Press hosts an evening of Palestinian futurism celebrating the power of Science Fiction to shed new light on historical events and contemporary politics in the Middle East. Featuring novelist and author of Out of It Selma Dabbagh, poet, journalist and novelist Anwar Hamed. Chaired by publisher Ra Page and translator and editor Basma Ghalayini.
Palestine + 100 is a recipient of an English PEN award.
More info

Chibundu Onuzu: 1991
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£15; limited concessions

The author of The Spider King’s Daughter and Welcome to Lagos returns with her autobiographical show featuring narrative, music, song and dance. Taking us on a journey from Lagos to London, 1991 premiered in a sell-out show at Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival in 2018. This Nigerian odyssey features a live band, a choir and a healthy dose of West African rhythm.
Part of the Africa Utopia festival
More info

 

Wednesday 18 September
Colette Fellous: This Tilting World
Daunt Books Hampstead, 51 South End Road, London NW3 2QB
6:30 pm
£5

The French-Tunisian writer’s first book to be published in English is set in the aftermath of the 2015 massacre on the beach at Sousse. In a heartbroken adieu that is also a love letter to her native country, the memory of her late father resurfaces and, with it, the story of Tunisia’s Jewish community. Colette will be chatting about the book with her translator, Sophie Lewis, and award-winning author Michèle Roberts, who wrote the foreword.
More info

 

 

Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September
Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing
Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD22 8DR
Various times daily
Early bird festival pass £25 (£40 after 30 August)

Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were pioneering women writers and continue to inspire contemporary literature in limitless ways. The museum is hosting its ninth festival dedicated to showcasing and celebrating women’s writing, with guest programmer Kit de Waal (pictured) and a line-up also including Sara Collins, Liz Flanagan, Amy Liptrot, Sam Missingham, Cathy Rentzenbrink and Clare Shaw.
More info

 

Sunday 22 September
Richard Dawkins: An Argument for Atheism
Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm

£20–£40; limited concessions

Should we believe in God? Do we need God in order to explain the existence of the universe? Do we need God in order to be good? In his new book, Outgrowing God, Dawkins dissects everything from Abraham’s abuse of Isaac to the construction of a snowflake, in a concise, provocative guide to thinking for yourself. A copy of the book is included with every ticket.
More info

 

Monday 23 September
Christopher Eccleston: I Love the Bones of You
Dorfman Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
6 pm
£9

Join the actor to celebrate the release of his memoir and to discuss his career and the one man who, in life and death, has accompanied him every step of the way – his father Ronnie. In I Love The Bones Of You, Eccleston unveils a vivid portrait of a relationship that has shaped his entire career trajectory, mirroring and defining his own highs and lows, from stage and screen triumph to breakdown, anorexia, self-doubt, and a deep belief in the basic principles of access and equality denied to generations.
More info

 

Wednesday 25 September
Louis Theroux in conversation
Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£15–£35; limited concessions

In his latest book, Gotta Get Theroux This, the much-loved documentarian reflects on a weird, wonderful journey through two decades of groundbreaking television. Join Theroux as he looks back on some of the larger-than-life characters he has encountered along the way, reflects candidly on some of the biggest challenges he has faced and discusses what draws him back, again and again, to offbeat corners of contemporary life.
More info

 

Monday 30 September
Lenny Henry in conversation
Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£10–£30; limited concessions

Sir Lenny Henry takes the stage to share his long-awaited autobiography. One of Britain’s best-known and most celebrated comedians, his new book Who Am I, Again? reveals the story of his early years and his rise to fame, chronicling his extraordinary story from his birth soon after his Jamaican parents arrived in the Midlands to being raised as one of seven siblings in a boisterous working household.. This is Henry in his own voice: charming, serious, vulnerable, perceptive and jaw-droppingly funny.
More info

 

Wednesday 2 October to Wednesday 7 November
Writing the City with Courttia Newland
Sunley Pavilion, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7 pm
£90 for a 6-week course

The urban metropolis is a constant source of wonder, delight and conflict. In a six-session course, learn to map its ever-shifting terrain through practical exercises and workshopping to stimulate and inspire your writing. The course includes close readings of key texts from a range of world-renowned writers, including Colson Whitehead, Vandana Singh and Rupert Thompson.
More info

 

Wednesday 4 to Sunday 13 October
The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival
Various times and venues
Events individually priced

With the biggest names in books, food, comedy, politics, fashion, travel, history, art, sport, science, stage and screen, the world’s oldest literature festival returns to Cheltenham Town Hall and the Festival Village in Montpellier Gardens for its 70th anniversary edition. Early names announced include Ali Smith, Ian McEwan, David Nicholls, Simon Armitage, Elif Shafak and Celeste Ng, international poets, authors and essayists Chris Tse, Wana Udobang, Kanako Nishi, Esme Wang, Nicole Flattery, Sarah Henstra and Hernán Ronsino, and this year’s guest curators include novelist and editor Max Porter, novelist Tessa Hadley, poet and Out-Spoken founder Anthony Anaxagorou and Head of Chatham House US, Leslie Vinjamuri.
More info

 

Sunday 6 October
Celeste Ng in conversation
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£15–£25; limited concessions

In her first London appearance to discuss her acclaimed novels, the award-winning and bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere reflects on creating compelling characters with deft psychological insight and breathtaking precision, laying bare the tensions that run beneath the surface of contemporary life, tackling themes of identity, motherhood, race and class.
More info

 

Thursday 10 October
2019 PEN Pinter Prize: Lemn Sissay
Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London NW1 2DB
7 pm
£15/£10 under-18s/other concessions

This year’s winner, poet, performer, playwright, artist and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, will deliver a special lecture and announce the winner of the 2019 PEN Pinter Prize for an International Writer of Courage. A limited edition booklet of the lecture published by Faber & Faber will be available to the audience at the event. In partnership with English PEN.
More info

 

Sunday 13 October
2019 Booker Prize Readings
Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£15–£35; limited concessions

The Booker Prize is a byword for the finest literary fiction; its roll call of shortlisted and winning authors includes some of the greatest writers of the last 50 years. On the eve of the announcement of the 2019 winner, join the shortlisted authors for an evening of readings and conversation around their novels. The 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction is chaired by Peter Florence and the judges are Afua Hirsch, Liz Calder, Xiaolu Guo and Joanna MacGregor.
More info