5x15 March 2022

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Join us in March for an evening of compelling, enlightening & entertaining storytelling that explores how we live, how we love and how we navigate between different worlds.

Monica Ali
Love Marriage

Monica Ali’s new novel, Love Marriage, is her first in a decade. Funny and poignant, sharp and sympathetic, it is a tour de force of storytelling that has won rave reviews. Centring on two young, engaged-to-be-married medics, Yasmin Ghorami and Joe Sangster, it is a clash of cultures story that explores who we are, how we love and how we can come to understand one another in today’s Britain. Monica Ali is the author of four previous novels including the Booker Prize shortlisted Brick Lane, 'Written with a wisdom and skill that few authors attain in a lifetime' (Sunday Times).

Clover Stroud
The Red of My Blood

Clover Stroud is a journalist and the award-nominated author of books including the Sunday Times bestselling My Wild and Sleepless Nights. In The Red of My Blood, she recalls how her sister Nell Gifford, founder of Gifford’s circus, died of breast cancer at just 46. Days before, Nell had been given years to live. This raw, lyrical and ultimately hopeful memoir examines how death, once embraced, can exist alongside us, and even enrich our daily lives. It has already drawn acclaim from Elizabeth Gilbert, Lisa Taddeo and Juliet Nicholson among others.

Osman Yousefzada
The Go-Between

Osman Yousefzada was born in Birmingham to migrant parents who are illiterate in English and their mother tongue. He is an artist and designer who studied at SOAS and Central Saint Martins, and went on to obtain an MPhil at Cambridge University. He has exhibited at international institutions including the Whitechapel Gallery, Lahore Biennale, Dhaka Art Summit, V&A, IKON, and Cincinnati Art Museum. As well as being nominated for various fashion awards, he has been awarded the prestigious BFC New Generation award for three seasons. The Osman Yousefzada clothing line is sold internationally and is worn by celebrities including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Lupita Nyong’o, Thandiwe Newton, Gwen Stefani, Emma Watson, Freida Pinto and many more. Osman edits The Collective, a journal featuring artists, writers and other creatives, and he has written articles for Vogue, The Guardian and The Observer.

Hannah Lowe
The Kids

Hannah Lowe was born in Ilford to an English mother and Jamaican-Chinese father. She has lived in London, Brighton and Santa Cruz, California. She studied American Literature at the University of Sussex and has a Masters degree in Refugee Studies, and a PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. She has worked as a teacher of literature, and is now a lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University. She has been poet in residence at Keats House, and in 2020 she received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors. Her third full collection of poems, The Kids (Bloodaxe Books, 2021), was the Poetry Book Society Choice for Autumn 2021. It won the 2021 Costa Poetry Award and went on to be named Costa Book of the Year, and was also shortlisted for the 2021 T.S. Eliot Prize.

Hannah Lowe taught for a decade in an inner-city London sixth form. At the heart of her award winning book of compassionate and energetic sonnets are fictionalised portraits of ‘The Kids’, the students she nurtured. But the poems go further, meeting her own child self as she comes of age in the riotous 80s and 90s, later bearing witness to her small son learning to negotiate contemporary London. Lowe interrogates the acts of teaching and learning with empathy and humour, exploring the universal experience of what it is to be taught, to learn and to teach.

‘Hannah Lowe’s The Kids is a book to fall in love with - it’s joyous, it’s warm and it’s completely universal. It’s crafted and skilful but also accessible... You will love it!’ - Reeta Chakrabarti, Chair of Judges, 2021 Costa Book of the Year

Kate Humble
Home Cooked

Kate Humble is a writer, smallholder, campaigner and one of the UK’s best-known TV presenters. Home Cooked is her debut cookbook - a celebration of simple, seasonal home cooking full of flavour, comfort and joy. She started her television career as a researcher, later presenting programmes such as ‘Animal Park’, ‘Springwatch’ and ‘Autumnwatch’, ‘Lambing Live’, ‘Living with Nomads’, ‘Extreme Wives’, ‘Back to the Land’, ‘A Country Life for Half the Price’ and ‘Escape to the Farm’. Her other books include Friend for Life, Humble by Nature, A Year of Living Simply and Thinking on My Feet, which was shortlisted for both the Wainwright Prize and the Edward Stanford Travel Memoir of the Year.