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The Edinburgh Festival ended last month and we literary Londoners were finally allowed to have some interesting stuff to do around here for awhile. But alas, once again this week, the most interesting literary event in the UK is taking place in a place other than London, just a bit to the south in East Sussex. (Well, there's also a lot happening on the Internet, where Zadie Smith is being reamed for comments made about London in New York Magazine. But enough is enough, is all we have to say on that topic. And anyway, Smith is going to be at the event in East Sussex, which is much better than being on the Internet. Unless your on Londonist, in which case there's no place better than the Internet. But we digress...)
Events Around London:
Tomorrow (the 14th), Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee stops by Ottakar's in Clapham Junction for the unusual purpose of not discussing and/or signing a new book. Instead, she is discussing her work in general, as well as (one would suspect) the current political climate in Britain, courtesy of the SW11 Literary Festival, which runs through the 25th. 70 St. John's Road. 7pm. £2
Thursday through Saturday, head down to Charleston in East Sussex for the Small Wonder Festival, which is quite a cute name for a festival that features short stories exclusively. It's also long overdue, we think. Short stories, as great as some of them are, get overlooked in today's literary culture, and they need an events such as this one, where they can't be overshadowed by the big bad novels. Participants include Ian Rankin (pictured) and Zadie Smith. See website for directions and specific times and locations. £30-£125.
On Saturday (the 17th), Vintage celebrates its 15th birthday at Folye's Bookshop with a day of celebrations, all of which happily involve Vintage writers and their work. Those making an appearance throughout the course of the day include Sebastian Faulks, Allison Pearson, and Audrey Niffenegger. Consult the website for times of specific events. Foyle's Bookshop. 113-119 Charing Cross Road. £15 (plus 15% all Vintage titles day of event).
This is a pretty slow week for new books, unless you're looking for novels set against the backdrop of World War II, in which case you have two to choose from: Year is '42, by Nella Bielski, and Berlin, by Pierre Frei. There's also some chick lit and Harlequin romances, but isn't that always the case?
This week is supposedly Agatha Christie week, but we can't figure out what that means, except that some publisher is re-releasing a bunch of the author's best (and lesser) known works. If anyone out there knows of any actual events, we'd love to hear about them.