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Literary Festival 2014: Me, but not Me: using your life as a springboard for fiction with Jonathan Gibbs


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Speaker(s): Jonathan Gibbs

Recorded on 1 March 2014 in Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building.

Where does life end and fiction begin? It is a never-ending debate, but there has been much discussion recently of the strange, delicate and sometimes confusing relationship between the writer and their novel. Where once the semi-autobiographical novel was a staple of the form, now people talk of the novelised memoir, or (as in Sheila Heti) the 'novel from life'. At the same time, the centenary of the First World War throws into relief the effects that our ever-more digital lifestyle will have on future generations' understanding of who we were, in the first decades of the 21st Century, and what our life was like. This workshop will bring together these themes to look at ways of writing 'from' our lives that moves beyond the straightforwardly autobiographical. Come ready to write - about yourself, and not about yourself.

Jonathan Gibbs (@Tiny_Camels) recently completed a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he was awarded a Malcolm Bradbury memorial bursary. He has written on books for the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, the TLS and elsewhere, and he writes the Independent's weekly Friday Book Design Blog. His short fiction has been published in Lighthouse, and by Shortfire Press, The South Circular and The White Review (where his story The Story I'm Thinking Of was shortlisted for the 2013 White Review Prize). His first novel, Randall, or The Painted Grape, about the London art world and the YBAs, will be published in Spring 2014 by Galley Beggar Press.

This event forms part of LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February - Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme 'Reflections'.

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