The Londonist Literary List appears every Tuesday. If you’d like to bring an event to our attention, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To eat or not to eat? Professor of Ethics Peter Singer, author of “Animal Liberation” and “How Are We to Live?: Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest” gives us food for thought in his new book Eating, in which he discusses the effects of the diet choices we make (to ourselves and the world around us). Free entry, but tickets are limited so reserve yours at email@example.com. 6.30pm, The Gallery at Foyles, 2nd Floor, 113-119 Charing Cross Road.
Maggie O’Farrell’s novel, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, tells of Iris, struggling with the complexities of life in Edinburgh as she learns of the existence of Esme, the great aunt she never knew of, committed to an asylum as a teenager more than 60 years ago. This from the Guardian:
The prose is spare, yet the Edwardian world it describes crosses two continents and is rich and clear as stained glass. It moves with ease between the mimosa trees of an Indian childhood and the iron-grey seas of Fife in old age. She can make the economical style seem slow, ruminative and rather old-fashioned (“Let us begin with two girls at a dance”), yet except when the host of minor characters occasionally becomes confusing, the story never flags. And it is a story so historically important that one ceases to think of “style” and “the novel” altogether.
Free entry, but tickets are limited so reserve yours at firstname.lastname@example.org. 6.30pm, The Gallery at Foyles, 2nd Floor, 113-119 Charing Cross Road.
Saturday & Sunday
Continuing the V&A’s season of culture rich weekends comes the Iranian weekend Persian poetry picnic. Be entertained by music, poetry & storytelling in the V&A’s Iranian outdoor setting – plus special talks and tours, and Iranian picnic food in the café. Free, The John Madejski Garden and throughout the V&A, South Kensington, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL, 020 7942 2211.
Novelist and biographer AN Wilson discusses his work including his new biography of John Betjeman with Guardian Hay Festival director Peter Florence. And yes, expect many a question about that infamous letter. 6.30 – 8pm, £6/£4, Conference Centre, British Library, St Pancras, 96 Euston Road, London NW1, 020 7412 7332 or see their website.
In The Blood is Andrew Motion’s memoir of growing up in postwar England, written from a teenager’s point of view captures the “pathos and puzzlement of childhood”. The story shows the idylls of family, school and country life shattered when his mother has a terrible riding accident – read the first chapter here (opens in a PDF).£6, 7pm, London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL, Buy tickets here.
Arguing that Hergé’s Tintin cartoon adventures are as complex as any dreamt up by the great novelists, Tom McCarthy asks a simple question: is Tintin literature? He talks to Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Gallery in this, Tintin’s Secret. 7.30pm, £3/£2 Institut français, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT, 020 7073 1354.