Ali Smith's How to be Both, in which the lives of a 15th-century fresco painter and a 21st-century Cambridge schoolgirl mysteriously intertwine, was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, and won the £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize. Marion Coutts's fierce, shocking and beautiful memoir, The Iceberg, tracing the two years between her husband's diagnosis with and death from a brain tumour, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Both have been picked extensively as books of the year. Meeting one another for the first time, they talk about how to look beneath the surface of life, how to weigh words, and how to reconcile grief and joy,
Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. She is the author of Artful, There but for the, Free Love, Like, Hotel World, Other Stories and Other Stories, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental, Girl Meets Boy and The First Person and Other Stories.
Marion Coutts is an artist and writer. She works in video, film, sculpture and photography. Her work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including solo shows at Foksal Gallery, Warsaw, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Wellcome Collection, London. She has held fellowships at Tate Liverpool and Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. In 2001 she married the art critic Tom Lubbock. After his death in 2011, she wrote the introduction to his memoir Until Further Notice, I am Alive and is the editor of English Graphic, an anthology of his essays. She is a Lecturer in Art at Goldsmiths College.
Maggie Fergusson is Director of the Royal Society of Literature.
This event is organised in association with the Royal Society of Literature (@RSLiterature). Membership of the Royal Society of Literature is open to all. For just £50 per annum, it offers free entry to over 20 events each year. Speakers for spring 2015 include Rosie Alison, Mark Bostridge, Carmen Callil, Peter Carey, Kate Clanchy, Mark Doty, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Claire Harman, Hermione Lee, Andrew Motion, Andrew O’Hagan, Ruth Padel, Jo Shapcott and Kate Tempest.
This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2015, taking place from Monday 23 - Saturday 28 February 2015, with the theme 'Foundations'.
Suggested hashtag for the event for Twitter users #LSELitFest
A podcast of this event is available to download from An Eye for Life
Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.