Thursday 19 May 2022, 7.30pm, 43 Gordon Square
Writers Rebel was formed in late 2019 by a group of writers who felt they could no longer ignore the Climate and Ecological Emergency, but had to make it central to their writing and their political lives. Writers Rebel, as part of Extinction Rebellion, has since then drawn national attention to the climate disinformation spread by lobbyists based on Tufton Street. Many fellow authors, including Zadie Smith, Ben Okri and Margaret Atwood, have joined the campaign. For this event, Birkbeck welcomes three of these writers – Chloe Aridjis, Monique Roffey and Toby Litt – to talk about writing, hope, activism and climate.
Monique Roffey is an award winning Trinidadian born British writer of novels, essays, literary journalism and a memoir. Her most recent novel, The Mermaid of Black Conch, (Peepal Tree Press) won the Costa Book of the Year Award, 2020, and was nominated for eight major awards. The film rights were sold to Dorothy Street Pictures and will be developed by Film Four. Her other Caribbean novels, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle and House of Ashes, have been nominated for major awards too (Costa, Orange, Encore etc). Archipelago won the OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature in 2013. Her work has been translated into several languages. She is a co-founder of Writers Rebel within Extinction Rebellion. She is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and a tutor for the National Writers Centre.
Chloe Aridjis is the author of three novels, Book of Clouds, which won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in France, Asunder, set in London's National Gallery, and Sea Monsters, which was awarded the 2020 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Chloe has written for various art journals and was guest curator of the Leonora Carrington exhibition at Tate Liverpool. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014 and the Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writers Award for 2020. Chloe is a member of Writers Rebel, a group of writers who focus on addressing the climate emergency and biodiversity loss. A collection of her essays and short fiction, Dialogue with a Somnambulist: Stories, Essays and a Portrait Gallery, was published last autumn.
Toby Litt has published novels, short story collections and comics. His most recent book is Patience, a novel. He runs the Creative Writing MFA at Birkbeck College, and blogs at www.tobylitt.com. He is a member of English Pen and the editor of the Writers Rebel website. He is currently publishing his next book, A Writer’s Diary, in daily entries on Substack. When he is not writing, he likes sitting doing nothing.
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