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Literary Festival 2013: Day Jobs and the Twilight World


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Speaker(s): Professor Christopher Andrew, Professor Lord Hennessy, Alan Judd

Recorded on 27 February 2013 in Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building.

Although the cliché of the novelist as a typically bohemian, solitary, garret-inhabiting individual persists, in reality today, as in the past, the majority of novelists writing lead double-lives, holding down at least a part-time and very often a full-time job as well. Trollope did a full-time job as a director of the General Post office while simultaneously turning out some of the major novels of the nineteenth century. Kafka worked in an insurance office. Author of the bestseller The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame worked at the Bank of England for thirty years.This panel will discuss the question of combining official work with the writing of fiction in the context of the Cold War and after.

Professor Christopher Andrew is author of Defence of The Realm, the official history of MI5.

Peter Hennessy is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London. He has written several books on contemporary British history including Never Again and Having It So Good. Distilling the Frenzy is his latest book.

Alan Judd represents a case in point, having published nine novels, most recently Uncommon Enemy (2012), while simultaneously working in the army, in the Foreign Office and in other Whitehall departments. He has also written, while pursuing these day jobs, The Quest For C , the biography of Mansfield Cumming, founder of MI5.

This event forms part of LSE's 5th Space for Thought Literary Festival, taking place from Tuesday 26 February - Saturday 2 March 2013, with the theme 'Branching Out'.

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