Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conference – Talking Books: ‘Novel History’

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Saturday 6th June

As historical fiction enjoys a huge commercial renaissance, this debate will explore how far the changes in the last forty years of historiography means that novelists willing to spend real time in the archives and libraries are now producing a new kind of historical fiction, more accurate and thus more truthful about the past, than the work of their predecessors.

Sarah Dunant, (BIH Research Fellow) writer, broadcaster and critic. She has written eleven novels, four of which have been short listed for awards, three screen plays and edited two books of essays. She worked for many years with the BBC in radio and television, producing and presenting arts documentaries and magazine programmes , most notably The Late Show on BBC 2 (1989 - 1996)  and Night Waves (Radio 3 1996- 2004). Her recent novels The Birth of Venus ( set in Florence in 1490s ) and In the Company of the Courtesan ( Venice 1550s ) have been international best sellers and the final volume of the Renaissance trilogy  Sacred Hearts  will be published in June 2009 .

Hilary Mantel, studied law at LSE and Sheffield University. Her nine novels include A Place of Greater Safety, set in Paris during the Revolution, and The Giant OBrien, set in London in the 1780s. For her new book she has shifted back to the Tudor era; Wolf Hall traces the early career of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIIIs minister, and will be followed by a second novel to conclude Cromwells story.

John Sutherland (UCL) is the Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus at UCL. He has written a number of books on Fiction, including: Fiction and the Fiction Industry, Bestsellers, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction. He is currently engaged on writing The Lives of the Novelists for Profile Books.

Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck) is Professor of History at Birkbeck. She is the award-winning author of nine books, including books on Irish history, gender and "the body", the history of psychological thought, modern warfare, the emotions, and sexual violence. She is currently writing a history of humanity and animality.

Saturday 6th June  3pm  Room B36  Birkbeck Main Building followed by a drinks reception

This event is free and open to all - please email Julia Eisner if you would like to attend.

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