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Joy of influence

Produced by the Department of English and supported by the university's Culture team.


22, 23, 26, 29 Sep & 3 Oct 2014, 18.30 – 19.30
Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS

To listen to podcasts from these talks, please click here

After the success of last year’s festival, The Joy of Influence: Six novelists on another art form, this September will see well-known journalists being interviewed, mainly by novelists, about their favourite fictional work. This year’s events aim to examine the region where fiction and non-fiction writing blends and cross-fertilises.

Andrew Marr is one of the country’s best-known political interviewers, so what does he get from Tolstoy’s historical masterpiece? He will be in conversation with London Review of Books editor Mary-Kay Wilmers. Rock journalist Paul Morley has always been interested in style — what does he take from his mentor, no less of a stylist than Nabokov? Novelist and essayist Adam Thirlwell will seek to find out. Paul Mason spends his time as Economics Editor at Channel 4 News unravelling the miasma of our economic crises — so what does he glean from Pynchon’s chaotic modern masterpiece, Gravity’s Rainbow? See him in conversation with Man Booker-winning novelist Anne Enright.

The five events this year will challenge the traditional format of literary conversations, offering insights into how journalism works as a creative art form and how it neighbours-up to the house of fiction.

Monday 22 September
Andrew Marr on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace
Interviewed by Mary-Kay Wilmers

Tuesday 23 September
Paul Morley on Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire
Interviewed by Adam Thirlwell

Friday 26 September
Paul Mason on Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
Interviewed by Anne Enright

Monday 29 September
Gaby Wood on Italo Calvino’s The Castle of Crossed Destinies
Interviewed by Jonathan Coe

Friday 3 October
India Knight on Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love
Interviewed by Andrew O’Hagan



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