Festival season embeds itself in our social life this week and makes a mockery of our diary – it’s all illegible scribblings, strike-throughs, and exclamation points. Whilst we attempt to sort ourselves out, let’s see what sense we can make of the week ahead in literary London for you...
Monday: Bebop hep-cats (that’s right, hep-cats) converge on the Troubadour tonight to celebrate the 1950s poetry scene (8pm, £6/£5 concessions); biographers Anne Sebba and Andrew Lycett join media lawyer Nicola Solomon and literary agent Bruce Hunter to discuss the challenges of intellectual property law in the PEN-sponsored Free Speech and Copyright at the Guardian newsroom (7pm, £7.50 nonmembers/£5 members); and the British Library hosts Lovers, Demons and Kitchen Utensils – Two Millennia of Indian Ramayana Stories (6.30pm, £6/£4 concessions).
Tuesday: Liars’ League: Saints and Sinners at London Lit Plus sounds like good raucous fun. The premise is simple enough: writers submit stories on saints and sinners; actors read them aloud; high drama ensues (7pm, free). Also on: Will Self reading from Dorian, at gay literary salon Polari (7pm, free); John Suchet signing The Treasures of Beethoven at Waterstone’s Trafalgar Square (6.30pm, free); and William Dalrymple, author of The Last Mughal, at Notting Hill Gate Library (7pm, free).
Wednesday: In The Hayward Celebrates 40, the London Literature Festival brings together notable artists and architects, including 2004 Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid, for a discussion of design approaches to gallery architecture (7pm, £8/50 percent concession discount). (The literature connection appears tenuous, but we’re interested nonetheless.) Also on: For those moments when you feel like really really taking a break from the urban bustle: Nick Rosen is at Housmans to discuss How to Live Off-Grid (7pm, free) – no water, no phone, no power. And you thought you were roughing it at Glastonbury.
Thursday: Forgot to support your northern-most North American mates on Canada Day last week? Want to give a shout-out to our Torontoist cousins? Turn up for the London Literature Festival’s Toronto Stories tonight (7.45pm, £9/50 percent concession discount). Also on: the PEN-sponsored Creative Energy at the Royal Geographical Society attempts to bridge the divide between literature and science by examining a shared interest between the two disciplines: creativity. With poet Ruth Padel, Nobel Prize winner Sir Aaron Klug, and HIV researcher Dr Sheena McCormack (7.30pm, free).
Friday: Never underestimate the value of a good title. For this alone, we award London Lit Plus’s Love, Sex, Art, & the Frozen Shepherd’s Pie Factory top billing, even if we’re still unsure as to what to expect (7.30pm, £3/£2 concessions). The London Literature Festival’s Granta: New Nature Writing (7pm, £7/50 percent concession discount) and spoken word and musical event Fresh Off the Page (7.30pm, free) also look likely to delight.
Saturday: We think that London Magtastic, featuring many of our favourite Londony publications, is not to be missed. Folks from One Eye Grey, Litro, and Smoke, among others, will be on hand to flog copies of their lovely magazines; folklorists Scott Wood and Chris Roberts will be leading walks around London and Tower Bridges to enhance your knowledge of ghosts, monsters and bridge trivia; comedian Rob Deb will tickle your funny bone; and “heads” of newspapers will ceremoniously be placed on London Bridge. You can bet there will be at least a few Londonistas on hand for the fun (free, 11am–5pm).
Also on: The Future of London debate at the London Literature Festival (1pm, £7/50 percent concession discount), and Dancing in the No-Fly Zone: A Woman’s Journey Through Iraq with Hadani Ditmars at Housmans (5pm, free).
Sunday: And on the seventh day, the Book Grocer rested. If you’re inclined to forge on, check out the London Literature Festival’s lineup for today. It’s all ridiculously good, so we’ll leave the choice to you.
Know of an event that belongs in the Book Grocer listings? Please e-mail us at londonist-at-gmail-dot-com.