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If you’re about to leave this great, heaving sweaty beast of a city, you might want to cast your eyes over a few summer holiday reading lists and see what the good people at the Guardian, Amazon and Time Out (NY) recommend. Either that or you could just buy the new Jackie Collins at Gatwick like you were planning to.
Tony D’Souza, an American who worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, reads from Whiteman , a fictionalised account of that time. He’ll be at Crockatt & Powell Booksellers for 6pm and entry is free.
Thursday 6th July
What are the issues facing gay Muslims in the UK, and overseas? It is believed, for example, that some four thousand gay men have been executed for their sexuality in Iran since their Islamic Revolution of 1979. Brian Whitaker will be reading from Unspeakable Love; Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East, which will be followed by a discussion. Gay’s the Word, 66 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB 020 7278 7654, 7pm, free.
Friday 7th July
The leading American Feminist Poet and Essayist Adrienne Rich (pictured) is reading tonight at Purcell Room in the Royal Festival Hall. Fellow poet W.S. Merwin describes Rich as “one of the authentic, unpredictable, urgent, essential voices of our time. All of her life she has been in love with the hope of telling the utter truth, and her command of language from the first has been startlingly powerful.” Book early – this will be a real treat.
Saturday 8th July
The Opium World Cup Interruption may not be interrupting now as much as might have been, but New York literary print journal Opium will still be represented by stateside writers Todd Zuniga and Elizabeth Koch and Londoners Tom Lee and Amy Prior, who will be reading her new Olympics-inspired story Going for Gold (2012). The Warwick, 45 Essex Rd, London N1 8LN. Angel tube. 020 7688 2882, 7pm, £3.
Monday 10th July
Jasper Fforde, bestselling author whose books include The Eyre Affair will be signing copies of his latest novel in the Nursery Crimes series, The Fourth Bear, at an exclusive first London signing – 1pm at Foyles.
And finally, Senait Mehari, author of Heart of Fire, will be sharing an extraordinary account of her journey from child soldier in the Eritrean Liberation Front to soul singer and composer in Germany. 7pm Stratford Library, 3 The Grove, London, E15. Call 020 8552 9993 for tickets (£3 each).