literature & poetry

Bernardine Evaristo & Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Part of London Literature Festival

Join award-winning authors Bernardine Evaristo & Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
in conversation with writer Irenosen Okojie, in a discussion that promises to shed a fresh perspective on ourselves, others and the country in which we live.

The pair join us to discuss the themes and ideas of their latest books: Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Manchester Happened, both works that speak to our history and our current time which share complex, nuanced characters, the power of truth and depth.

Girl, Woman, Other, which won the 2019 Booker Prize, follows the lives and struggles of 12 very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Set in Manchester and Kampala, the stories of Manchester Happened form a moving and powerful work about the experience of immigration and about how we treat each other as human beings, and makes an important contribution to one of the most pressing societal and political issues of the day.

Bernardine Evaristo is the Anglo-Nigerian award-winning author of seven books of fiction and verse fiction, as well as short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for BBC radio.

Named by the New Statesman as the writer to read ‘If you want to understand modern day Britain', Evaristo's latest novel Girl, Woman, Other has been shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and shortlisted for The Booker Prize 2019.

Evaristo is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and was made an MBE in 2009. In 2019, she is the inaugural Woolwich Laureate, appointed by the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014.

Her short story Let’s Tell This Story Properly won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and is included in her first collection of stories, Manchester Happened.

In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction to support her writing, and was a judge for the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British writer. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. Her work has been featured in many publications including The New York Times, The Observer and The Guardian, and she was recently inducted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dates & times

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Purcell Room


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)


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Age recommendation
For ages 16+

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