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5 speakers 15 minutes each
Mon 22nd Sep 2014
Will Self began writing fiction after graduating from Oxford University, and worked as a cartoonist for the New Statesman and the London listings magazine City Limits. In 1993 he was chosen as one of Granta’s ‘Best of Young British Novelists’, and his fiction includes the short-story collection The Quantity Theory of Insanity (which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), and novels such as How the Dead Live, Cock and Bull and Umbrella. His non-fiction includes Perfidious Man, featuring photographs by David Gamble, and collections of his journalism such as Junk Mail and Feeding Frenzy. In 2002 he took part in a “reality art” project in a one-bedroom flat on the twentieth floor of a Liverpool tower block, writing a short piece of fiction whilst being watched by the public. He is a regular broadcaster on television and radio, and contributed to numerous newspapers and magazines, writing on various topics including architecture and psychogeography. His most recent novel is Shark.
Polly Stenham's plays include That Face (Royal Court and the Duke of York's), for which she was awarded the 2008 Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright 2007 and TMA Best New Play 2007, Tusk Tusk (Royal Court), and Hotel California (Latitude). Her most recent play Hotel was performed at the National Theatre in 2014. She is under commission from the Royal Court, the Donmar Warehouse and Film Four.
Ruth Padel has published ten poetry collections most recently Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth on creativity and conflict, and is known for her lyrical voice and singing line. Prose books include a study of the influence of Greek myth on rock music and opera, and much-loved works on reading contemporary poetry based on a column she wrote in the Independent on Sunday. She has sung in the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, the choir of St Eustache in Paris, the Town Choir of Heraklion, Crete, and an Istanbul nightclub. She has presented a programme in BBC 3’s series ‘The Choir’ and has written the lyrics for Michael Zev Gordon’s prize-winning choral composition Allele. Her awards include a Cholmondeley Award for poetry and First Prize in the National Poetry Competition. She was first Writer in Residence at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, is Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Poetry Fellow at King’s College London.
Howard Jacobson won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse award in 2000 for The Mighty Walzer and then again in 2013 for Zoo Time. In 2010 he won the Man Booker Prize for The Finkler Question. He has written thirteen novels and five works of non-fiction. His most recent novel, J, which has been compared to Nineteen Eighty Four and Brave New Word, is published in September 2014.
Esther Freud trained as an actress before writing her first novel, Hideous Kinky, which was made into a film starring Kate Winslet. Her other novels include The Sea House, Love Falls and Lucky Break. Her most recent book, Mr Mac and Me is published by Bloomsbury in September 2014. She contributes regularly the newspapers and magazines, and teaches for the Faber Academy. She divides her time between London and Suffolk.