What To See At Hampstead And Highgate Literary Festival

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 53 months ago
What To See At Hampstead And Highgate Literary Festival


The Hampstead & Highgate Literary Festival (or HamHighLit to those in the know) takes place in September at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in Golders Green, with a plethora of bookish goings on over three days. The programme is too chockablock for us to tell you about all of the events, so we've picked a few that we reckon might be worth a punt.


Hackney Child sees Tainted Love author, Hope Daniels (real name Jenny Molloy), in conversation with clinical psychologist Tanya Byron, author of The Skeleton Cupboard. Hope spent most of her life in care, after walking into a police station aged 9.  She will be talking about her emotional recovery and the support given to her by professionals in the care industry.

15 September, 8.30pm, tickets £12

Author Lilian Pizzichini is in conversation with Bridget Galton, features editor of the Ham & High newspaper, about her book, Music Night At The Apollo. It's a personal memoir covering the social history of London, particularly focusing on stories of the underclass and one woman's descent into addiction.

15 September, 11am, tickets £8


Renata Calverley talks about her autobiographical book, Let Me Tell You A Story, which describes her escape, as a young Jewish girl, from the Nazis in World War Two. The book recounts the horrors she faced including hearing members of her family being shot, before she was reunited with her father in England. See video below for more on this book.

15 September, 12.30pm, tickets £8

Leading expert on First World War literature Jean Moorcroft Wilson gives an insight into Jewish war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Isaac Rosenberg. She is in conversation with war historian and writer Paula Kitching.

14 September, 3pm, tickets £8

Charles Dickens

Sadly the man himself couldn't make it, but Michael Slater, emeritus professor of Victorian literature at Birkbeck and author of The Great Charles Dickens Scandal, is on hand to tell the story of the breakdown of Dickens marriage and the scandalous rumours that continued until the end of his life.

15 September, 11am, tickets £8

If this whets your appetite for digging deeper into the life of Charles Dickens, the Walk in Dickens Footsteps visits many of the locations the author brought to life in his famous novels.

16 September, 1.30pm, tickets £8

Ghost Writers

Mark McCrum and Shannon Kyle are both ghost writers, experienced in writing other people's stories, from celebrities including Robbie Williams and Jade Goody, to crime victims. At this event, they talk about their experiences recreating someone else's voice.

15 September, 3pm, tickets £8

Everyday Sexism

Laura Bates' Everyday Sexism project began online, with women reporting incidents of sexism they experienced in everyday life. She has now put these stories into a book and will be talking about it at the festival.

15 September, 6.45pm, tickets £10

This is a small sample of the entire catalogue of events taking place. See the full three-day programme here. A couple of events not mentioned above have already sold out, so if anything takes your fancy, we recommend booking ASAP. It's also worth taking a look at the programme of events designed especially for children to get involved.

Hampstead & Highgate Literary Festival takes place 14-16 September at the Ivy House in Golders Green (aka The Jewish Cultural Centre). Book online or call 020 8511 7900. If there are tickets left, they'll be available on the door on a first come first served basis.

Last Updated 13 August 2014