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 1 March 2020
Marvellous and Mischievous: Literature’s Young Rebels
The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Monday to Thursday 9:30 am to 8 pm
Friday 9:30 am to 6 pm
Saturday 9:30 am to 5 pm
Sunday 11 am to 5 pm
Free

Featuring such perennial favourites as Tracy Beaker, Pippi Longstocking, Jane Eyre and Matilda, as well as new characters including Omar from Planet Omar, Billy from Billy and the Beast and Dirty Bertie, this exhibition shines a light on the Library’s vast collection of children’s literature and explores an array of vibrant characters who break the rules and defy conventions.
More info

 

Wednesday 29 January
Polari: Featuring Paul Bailey
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£5

The author of Peter Smart’s Confessions, Gabriel’s Lament and The Prince’s Boy headlines the first billing of 2020 for London’s beloved LGBTQ+ literary salon, reading from his first poetry collection Inheritance, which coincides with a reissue of his debut novel At the Jerusalem. Paul is in conversation with Polari founder and curator Paul Burston, and other readers are Nathan Evans, author of Cnut; Jill Gardiner, author of With Some Wild Woman; John O’Connell, author of Bowie’s Books and SJI Holliday, author of Violet.
More info

 

Thursday 30 January
Scarlett Thomas: on Appetite and Excess
The Second Shelf, 14 Smith’s Court, London W1D 7DW
7 pm
£5.98 including booking fee

The author of The End of Mr Y and PopCo discusses her riotously enjoyable new novel Oligarchy with Alex Peake-Tomkinson. This blackly comic novel set in a girls’ boarding school satirises the hysteria of the diet industry, Instagram and young women’s behaviour.
More info

 

Out-Spoken: January
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:45 pm
£10/£7 Early Bird

Multi-award winning poet Robin Robertson headlines London’s premier evening of poetry and live music, in its first gig at Southbank Centre. Featuring comic poet Rob Auton and Next Generation Poet Jane Yeh, Out-Spoken is hosted by Joelle Taylor, with Sam ‘Junior’ Bromfield spinning the best in reggae, soul and R&B throughout the evening.
More info

 

Wednesday 5 February
Marian Keyes: Grown Ups
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£15–£25

Marian Keyes’ books deal with contemporary issues, including addiction, depression, domestic violence and the glass ceiling, but are always written with compassion, hope and her trademark Irish humour. Her new book, Grown Ups, is about the Caseys: three brothers, their wives, ex-wives and young adult step-kids, whose happy families façade starts to unravel.
More info

 

6 February to 21 March
Nora: A Doll’s House
Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LZ
Monday to Saturday, 7:30 pm
£10 to £43
Previews (6–10 Feb) £10 to £25

A radical new version of Henrik Ibsen’s play by Stef Smith, directed by Elizabeth Freestone and starring Anna Russell-Martin. Originally produced at Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, this bold new production by one of Scotland’s most exciting playwrights reframes the drama in three different time periods. The fight for women’s suffrage, the swinging sixties and modern day intertwine in this urgent, poetic play that asks how far have we really come in the past 100 years?
More info

 

Sunday 9 February
Isabel Allende: A Long Petal of the Sea
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7 pm
£10–£30

For the first time in 12 years, literary legend Isabel Allende visits the UK to discuss her much-awaited new novel at a London-exclusive event. She is the recipient of over 60 awards from 15 different countries, and was the winner of the 2018 National Book Award’s Lifetime Achievement. A Long Petal of the Sea is a masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging.
More info

 

Tuesday 11 February
Foyles and Asia House Fiction Debut 2020: Deepa Anappara
Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DT
7 pm
£4 general admission; £14.99 with a copy of the book (RRP £14.99)
Limited free early bird admission for Foyalty members, students or unwaged

Deepa Anappara as she sits down with journalist and editor Sarah Shaffi to discuss her sprawling and superlative Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line – Winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award, and the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel. Inspired by her own journalism, Anappara’s coming-of-age debut follows three children setting out on a road trip to investigate the disappearance of their classmates, braving the bustling outskirts of the Indian cityscape, and gaining their first glimpse of an uncompromising adult world.
More info

 

Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 February
Tuesday 11 February
Isabel Allende in conversation with Jeanette Winterson
The Dancehouse, 10 Oxford Road, Manchester M1 5QA
7 pm
Ticket only £12; ticket and book £25

Manchester Literature Festival and the Centre for New Writing welcome one of Latin America’s greatest authors to the UK for her first visit in 12 years. To celebrate the publication of her new novel, A Long Petal of the Sea, she will read and discuss her work with author and Professor of New Writing, Jeanette Winterson.
More info

Wednesday 12 February
Isabel Allende at UEA
Lecture theatre 1, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ
7 pm
£10/£6 students

Another chance to catch the literary giant on her whistlestop UK tour.
More info

 

Wednesday 12 to Sunday 23 February
Imagine Children’s Festival
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Various times daily
Events individually priced or free

Feed and interact with dinosaurs, celebrate the Harry Potter books, meet the Very Hungry Caterpillar and his friends, and go on adventures with Pippi Longstocking. The largest festival of its kind in the UK, Imagine Children’s Festival is dedicated to families experiencing and enjoying all kinds of art and culture together. Get ready for 12 days of the best international performance, music, literature, comedy, creativity, parties, participation and free fun for children aged 0–11 and their grown-ups. Featuring Michael Rosen, Dermot O’Leary, Atinuke, Cressida Cowell, Konnie Huq and Sabrina Mahfouz.
More info

 

Thursday 13 and Monday 17 February
Thursday 13 February
Eimear McBride: Strange Hotel
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:45 pm
£15

Eimear McBride marks the publication of her third novel: fierce, honest, laced with desire and punctuated with black humour. A nameless woman enters a nondescript hotel room that she’s been in once before, many years ago. The room hasn’t changed, but she has. Strange Hotel immerses the reader in a revelatory exploration of a woman’s mind as she attempts to negotiate her own memories and impulses, and edges towards what it might mean to return home.
More info

Monday 17 February
An evening with Eimear McBride
Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Bridgeford Street, Manchester M13 9PL
7:30 pm
Ticket only £8/£6; ticket and book £19/£17

Manchester Literature Festival and the Centre for New Writing present an evening with Eimear McBride, hosted by Vona Groarke.
More info

 

Saturday 29 February to Sunday 8 March
Jewish Book Week
Kings Place, London N1 9AG and JW3, London NW3 6ET
Various times daily
Events individually priced

From the ancient world to the modern, from Josephus to Nazi gold, the state of nations, the role of the judge, fighting fascists on the streets, the birth of Mossad and the future of liberalism, you’ll find it at Jewish Book Week. Family highlights include Dani Rabaiotti’s Believe It or Snot: The Definitive Field Guide to Earth’s Slimy Creatures and Michael Rosen’s The Missing: The True Story of My Family in WWII; while grown-ups can enjoy Robert Chandler on translating Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad, Carol Isaac’s haunting graphic memoir The Wolf of Baghdad, Abram Games: His Wartime Work by the artist’s daughter Naomi Games, Michael Grade in conversation with author and filmmaker Ori Elon, Elif Shafak talking to Sam Leith, and much more.
More info

 

Friday 6 March
Hilary Mantel: The Mirror and the Light
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
7:30 pm
£28–£56

Hilary Mantel reveals the eagerly awaited third novel in her thrilling Thomas Cromwell trilogy, a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision. It’s the story of a modern nation shaping itself through conflict, passion and courage. Hear from the author as she reflects on the finale of one of the most compelling and celebrated trilogies of modern times.
More info

 

Friday 6 to Sunday 8 March
WOW: Women of the World
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Various times daily
Friday and Saturday day passes £40; selected events individually priced

Marking the tenth anniversary of WOW – Women of the World festival, the WOW Foundation presents the biggest and bravest festival yet. Over three days, WOW’s line-up of world-class speakers, activists and performers are joined by thousands to explore the state of gender equality across the globe and tackle the subjects that matter most to women and girls across the world today. This year’s festival features Naomi Wolf, Deborah Frances-White (The Guilty Feminist), Scarlett Curtis, Sandi Toksvig, Emma Dabiri and Shazia Mirza.
More info

 

Monday 9 to Saturday 14 March
London Book & Screen Week
The Groucho Club and Good Housekeeping Institute Cookery School, London
Evening events 6:30 pm
Saturday brunch 10:45 am
£20/£25

Produced by The London Book Fair, London Book & Screen Week is the capital’s biggest celebration of books and the films, TV programmes and virtual worlds they inspire. This year’s events will celebrate 40 years of Yes Minister with Jonathan Lynn and Ayesha Hazarika, the incredible career of Lynda La Plante, and national favourite Doctor Who. It will explore coming-of-age classics with Joe Dunthorne and Lisa Owens, poetry beyond the page with Scarlett Sabet and Jimmy Page, as well as serving up delicious meat free meals with ‘One Pound Chef ’ Miguel Barclay.
More info

 

Sunday 15 March
Killer Women Festival of Crime Writing and Drama
Brown’s Courtrooms, 82–84 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AG
9 am to 8 pm
£75/Early Bird £65

Now in its fourth year, London’s only author-led, boutique crime festival opens its doors with a packed programme – old favourites and new discoveries from fiction and TV drama, and many festival firsts, plus world experts in policing, forensics and criminology.
More info