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17 - 17 Feb 2018

Box Office: 020 7722 9301

How do novelists create complex characters?  Are they constructed painstakingly or are they born fully-formed with idiosyncrasies in place?

Do novelists view themselves as actors, supplying hidden layers of family history, assessing motivation to measure the push and pull of good and bad instincts in order to bring their characters to life?‎ 

Like playwrights drafting scenes, many novelists structure their work through a series of heightened episodes and revelations. Some writers have even been known to force their nearest and dearest to act out their dialogue round the kitchen table to gauge what will and won't ring true.  

‎How much are readers expected to fill in what may have happened off stage?

Susie Boyt and Tessa Hadley, two novelists whose work has been influenced by stage and film, ‎will be in conversation with the literary journalist Alex Clark

Susie Boyt is the author of six acclaimed novels and the much-loved memoir My Judy Garland Life which was staged at the Nottingham Playhouse, serialised on Radio 4 and shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley prize. Her  latest novel Love & Fame (Virago), a highly strung comedy about grief and show business was described as a ‘novel of great emotional precision’ (Sunday Times).  Susie has been writing about life and art for the Financial Times Weekend for fourteen years and regularly contributes to Radio 4.

Tessa Hadley has written six novels - including The London Train and also The Past, which won the Hawthornden Prize - and three collections of short stories. Bad Dreams and other stories was published in 2017. She publishes short stories regularly in the New Yorker, reviews for the Guardian and the London Review of Books, and is a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University; she was awarded a Windham Campbell prize for Fiction in 2016. 


Time: 11am 
Date: Saturday 17 February
Location: Hampstead Downstairs
Duration: 1 hour


Full price: £10
Seniors, Under 30s, Students and Access: £8

Sat 17 Feb 11:00 Book now