Women Making Change

Sat 25 Sep 2021, 7.30pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £10
past event
past event
Mia July

Margie Orford chairs a talk with writers Ahdaf Soueif, Fatima Bhutto and Jacqueline Rose on the PEN Women’s Manifesto and women’s role in changing the world.

Founded in 1921 by Catherine Amy Dawson Scott, English PEN was a trailblazer for equality between genders in a literary world dominated by men.

Scott famously wrote: ‘It is the artist who tries to gradually accustom people to the possibilities of a better state of things.’ From the first meetings of the PEN Club, she recruited a number of women founding members, such as Radclyffe Hall, Violet Hunt and Rebecca West, when no such organisation existed for women writers.

As PEN International celebrates 100 years, the panellists talk about their writing and the role of women in pushing for change in the world.

Produced in partnership with English PEN.

Ahdaf Soueif is the author of books including the bestselling The Map of Love, and Cairo: a City Transformed. She is also a political and cultural commentator. She founded the Palestine Festival of Literature, PalFest, which takes place in the cities of occupied Palestine and Gaza.

Jacqueline Rose is co-director and professor of humanities at Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. Her books include On Violence and On Violence Against Women, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath and the novel Albertine. A regular writer for The London Review of Books, she is a co-founder of Independent Jewish Voices in the UK and a fellow of the British Academy.

Fatima Bhutto was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and grew up between Syria and Pakistan. She is the author of six books of fiction and non-fiction. Her debut novel, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, was long-listed for the Women’s Prize and her memoir about her father’s life and assassination, Songs of Blood and Sword, was published to acclaim. Her most recent, The Runaways, is published by Verso.

Dr Margie Orford is the author of the internationally acclaimed Clare Hart novels, a literary crime series, and of a number of books of non-fiction. She has written several children’s books, is an award-winning journalist, has published a number of articles on Namibian and South African literature, representation and gender-based violence.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

This talk is Speech-to-Text transcribed.

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Dates & times

Sat 25 Sep 2021, 7.30pm


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