The Londonist Literary List appears every Tuesday on, well, obviously, Londonist.
As the Edinburgh International Book Festival continues this week, we Londonists must still concede that the best literary action lies due north of our city. Doris Lessing regrettably cancelled her appearance scheduled for tomorrow (speaking of cancellations, we have noticed that there seem to be an unusually high number of them at this year’s festival), but there are still a number of highly worthwhile events on offer. Tonight, Mark Hollingsworth discusses the tragic case of Sandy Mitchell, an innocent victim of the Saudi legal system, in the broader context of Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. On Thursday afternoon, novelists Matthew Kneale, Toby Litt, and William Nicholson appear together, purportedly because of their vast knowledge of “affairs of the heart.” On Sunday, John Irving talks about his new novel, Until I Find You. Later that day, Ali Smith reads from her new novel, The Accidental. This is just a sampling of the events taking place this week at the festival. Check out the site for complete listings, and keep in mind that many events are selling out, so booking ahead is advisable.
Events Around London:
Unlike last week, London hasn’t simply given up on literary events altogether while Edinburgh holds court:
Tonight, Michael Cunningham (pictured) is reading from his new novel, Specimen Days, at the Vanbrugh Theatre in Malet Street. Entrance is £6. This is Cunningham’s first novel since The Hours, and probably at least in part because Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep helped bring the story to life in film, this latest novel has been eagerly anticipated.
On Saturday night (the 20th), 3AM Literary Magazine celebrates its annual Summer Bash at Filthy McNasty’s in Amwell Street, which Londonist sees as one of the better pubs in London, and well worth the visit even aside from the crime fiction from publisher Serpent’s Tail being read as part of the festivities. 3AM is a powerhouse in the online lit journal world (a genre that we aren't sure is capable of having powerhouses, but if it were, 3AM would certainly be one), and well worth supporting and partying with, we think.
This week, nothing of note, for some reason. But coming up in the next few weeks, we've got offerings from Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie, so stay tuned.
Hear that silence? That's the sound of Harry Potter fever finally dying down. Let's all take this opportunity to pay some attention to books that were written for adults, shall we?