A list of events here all taking place at the wonderful LONDON REVIEW BOOKSHOP
14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL
Tel: 020 7269 9030 Fax: 020 7269 9033
Platonov’s Fourteen Little Red Huts
29 June at 7 p.m.
In association with Academia Rossica, Robert Chandler, leading translator of the Russian writer Andrei Platonov, will introduce the play, explain how it came to be written and compare the relative differences in translating a play from prose. After a brief interval, a shortened version of the play will be performed by professional actors under the direction of Noah Birksted-Breen of the International Freedom Network. The play, written in 1932-3, addresses the hunger, trauma and confusion which accompanied a period of rapid collectivization and the unmasking of unexpected “class enemies”.
13 July at 7 p.m.
Bill Buford set out to write a feature about a chef called Mario Batali, but ended up on an adventure which dominated his life for years. In Heat (Cape), he describes his time as a “kitchen bitch” in the trendy New York restaurant Babbo, shooting game with Marco Pierre White in Britain and finally studying pasta making in an Italian hillside trattoria and butchery with a Dante-quoting butcher. Buford has been editor-in-chief for Granta magazine and fiction editor at The New Yorker, for whom he is now a staff writer and European correspondent.
Michael Gray on Bob Dylan
18 July at 7 p.m.
Andrew Motion called Michael Gray’s Song and Dance Man “the best book there is on Bob Dylan”. Recognised as a world authority on Dylan’s work, Gray has now compiled The Bob Dylan Encyclopaedia (Continuum), a monumental compendium from Baudelaire to the Basement Tapes, charting the impact he has made on the cultural landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries. This event will be a one-man- show with sound.
Peter Porter ‘Under the Influence’ of Arnold and Clough
20 July at 7 p.m.
Australian poet Peter Porter has influenced a lot of the best British poets writing today, but this evening, uniquely, he will talk about two nineteenth-century poets who have influenced him. Reading from his work, and the work of Matthew Arnold and Arthur Hugh Clough, he will discuss what he loves and admires about them, and how, both in language and sensibility, they inspired and enriched his work.
This event is part of the Poetry Society’s Under the Influence series, in conjunction with the London Review Bookshop. It is a unique opportunity to hear and ask about how working poets make use of their poetic ancestors.
Tickets £10 (£5 LRB subscribers, Poetry Society members and concs)
To book tickets with a credit or debit card call 020 7420 9895. For more information visit www.poetrysociety.org.uk
Under the Influence will continue with Helen Dunmore under the influence of Keats (21 September) and Ruth Padel under the influence of Tennyson (23 November).
24 July at 7 p.m.
The beat poet Michael McClure, following his highly successful event at the shop last year, returns to read some recent poetry and also give an exclusive talk about his controversial (some say obscene) play The Beard which will be performed for the first time since 1968 at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 25 July to August 12. It details an imagined meeting between two American icons, the sultry Jean Harlow and the quick-tempered outlaw Billy the Kid. “Juicy and exuberant” – Allen Ginsberg
27 July at 7 p.m.
On Trying to Keep Still (Little, Brown) chronicles Jenny Diski’s attempts to follow Montaigne’s quest for mental idleness. In fact she spent the year travelling to New Zealand, living in a country cottage for two months and visiting the Sami people of Lapland. Interspersed with ill-tempered descriptions of these trips are digressions on sore feet, growing older, spiders and fundamentalism.
Looking further ahead, as part of Banipal Live 2006, we are hosting an evening of readings by four young Arab writers on tour on Tuesday August 15th :Joumana Haddad, Ala Hlehel, Mansoura Ez-Eldin and Abed Ismael . From August 7th to August 21st, the shop will be taking part in Arab Authors Book Fortnight and displaying a selection of Arabic writing in translation.
On September 11th, the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion will give a reading from and discussion about his childhood memoir, In the Blood, an unforgettable evocation of family, school and country life in post-war England and how this idyllic world is shattered when his mother suffers a terrible riding accident. Two days later, (September 13th), Andrew O’Hagan will talk about his much anticipated (and already highly praised) new novel Be Near Me, which centres around an English priest in a small Scottish parish and the religious and class warfare he encounters as his own past unravels.
We are also very much looking forward to welcoming Mourid Barghouti, the author of the wonderful I Saw Ramallah, in mid-October and celebrating London – City of Disappearances with its editor Iain Sinclair and some of the book’s many contributors such as Will Self. More details as they emerge.