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Damian Barr's Literary Salon October 18th 2019

  • The Savoy Strand London, England United Kingdom (map)
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Damian Barr’s Literary Salon Friday 18th October at The Savoy, London. Featuring Kerry Hudson, Jeanine Cummins and Maggie O’Farrell.

Join us as we’re thrown into the lives of three families forced to confront circumstances few can even imagine, never mind survive. But there is always hope.  Almost always.

Kerry Hudson attended nine primary schools and five secondaries living in B&BS and council flats as her and her mum were forced to move again and again by poverty and its associated evils. Now Kerry is a rightly acclaimed novelist, activist and columnist and her life is unrecognisable. But how did she get from there to here and is her journey complete? What of the places she left? Lowborn is a memoir like no other and essential for our times.

American Dirt is the first novel to explores the perilous journey some migrants must make across the US-Mexico Border on top of freight trains known as la bestia. Lydia Quixano Perez is forced to leave her beloved bookshop and her comfortable life in Acapulco with her eight-year-old son Luca. Soon Lydia realises everyone is running from something. But what are they running to?  American Dirt is an astonishing work of fiction is inspired by a truth that urgently needs to be told. Jeanine Cummins joins us for her UK premiere.

Maggie O’Farrell returns to Salon for another world premiere with Hamnet, the novel she’s wanted to write for over thirty years. Her first foray into historical fiction takes us back to a summer day in 1596. A young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to bed with a fever.  Her twin brother, Hamnet, is distraught.   Their mother, Agnes, is a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. His name is William.  This is the heart-stopping story behind Shakespeare’s most famous play.

As ever, Ella Berthoud, author of the Novel Cure, will be offering complementary bibliotherapy! 

Start drinking in the glamour when the doors open at 6pm.  The Salon starts at 7pm.  We finish around 9.30pm but you’re very welcome to stay and drink or slip upstairs to Kaspar’s seafood restaurant to eat.

Tickets are seated or standing--doors open at 5.45pm, early arrivals swoop on seats. We will release more tickets on the day and if you can’t get in you can enjoy our podcast for free. 

The Savoy has long been loved by the literary world. Emile Zola, Mark Twain, Somerset Maugham and countless others have enjoyed the hotel’s hospitality since it opened in 1889.  We look forward to welcoming you and your stories.


Earlier Event: 8 September
Damian Barr at Gladfest 2019