June 5x15 with George Butler, Lawrence Wright and Arifa Akbar

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Join us in June for an evening of personal quests and explosive road trips, fantastic fiction and incisive reportage.

George Butler
Drawn Across Borders

George Butler is an award winning artist and illustrator specialising in travel and current affairs. His drawings, done in situ are in pen, ink and watercolour. In August 2012 George walked from Turkey across the border into Syria, where as guest of the rebel Free Syrian Army he drew the civil war damaged, small and empty town of Azaz. His drawings have been published by The Times (London), Monocle, New York Times, the Guardian, BBC, CNN, Der Spiegel, ARD television Germany, NPR. His work has been shown in the Imperial War Museum North and the V&A Museum which also holds some of his work in the National Archive. In 2014, with three friends, George set up the Hands Up Foundation.

Tahmima Anam
The Start-Up Wife

Tahmima Anam is an award-winning novelist, short-story writer and Harvard-educated anthropologist. She is also an executive director of ROLI, a music technology startup with offices in New York and London. Her first novel, A Golden Age, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Costa First Novel Award, and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Her other novels include The Good Muslim and The Bones of Grace and most recently The Start Up Wife. Tahmima was named as one of Granta’s Best Young Novelists of the Year in 2013 and was shortlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She was also shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2016. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Granta and the Guardian. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she now lives in London.

Lawrence Wright
The Plague Year

Lawrence Wright has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. He is also an author, a screenwriter and a playwright. Wright has published twelve books, including The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda's Road to 9/11 (2006), which was translated into twenty-four languages and won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. In 2018, the book was adapted into a Hulu original drama starring Jeff Daniels, Alec Baldwin, and Tahar Rahim. In April, 2020, Wright published his second novel, The End of October about a pandemic, which eerily anticipated many of the events of the coronavirus pandemic. Wright lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, and plays the keyboard for the blues band WhoDo.

Arifa Akbar

Arifa Akbar is the Guardian's chief theatre critic. A journalist for over twenty years, she is the former literary editor of the Independent, where she also worked as arts correspondent and news reporter. She has previously contributed to the Observer and the Financial Times. She is on the board of trustees for the Orwell Foundation and English PEN. Short pieces of her non-fiction have appeared in several anthologies. Consumed is her first book.

Lisa Taddeo

Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women became a world-wide sensation – forever changing how we think about women and desire. Nearly a decade in the making, Three Women was hailed instantly as a feminist classic- a staggering work of nonfiction that was the result of thousands of hours spent in the company of its subjects– three women whose lives reveal profound and previously unspoken truths about life and love, womanhood and desire.

Lisa has contributed to New York magazine, Esquire, Elle, Glamour and many other publications. Her short stories have won two Pushcart Prizes. Her debut novel Animal centres on Joan, the most provocative and mesmerising narrator you will encounter in 2021. 'Like a series of grenades exploding' Marian Keyes