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Monday 15 November, 7:30pm (BST), British Library

This hybrid event will be presented live at the British Library and online via the British Library Player.

Free for RSL Members and Fellows, who can also book one discounted guest ticket (£5 in-person/£3 online). Digital Events Passholders can attend online for free.

Join as a Member today or buy a Digital Events Pass


As part of our Literature Matters: RSL 200 series, join two of the most prolific and well-regarded travel writers of a generation in a conversation about why literature matters to them.

President Emeritus of the RSL, Colin Thubron, and RSL Fellow, Sir Michael Palin, will be live on stage at the British Library to discuss their adventures in literature and around the world. Following Colin’s most recent adventure, tracing The Amur River for 3,000 miles, this intimate conversation between friends is sure to span continents, decades and literary forms.


Colin Thubron CBE FRSA CRSL is an acclaimed travel writer and novelist. His first books were about the Middle East – Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled by car into the Soviet Union, a journey he described in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall, The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia, Shadow of the Silk Road and To a Mountain in Tibet. Colin’s latest book, The Amur River, Between Russia and China, was published by Chatto & Windus in September 2021. Colin was elected President of the Royal Society of Literature in 2010, and became President Emeritus in 2017. In 2020, he was named an RSL Companion of Literature.

Michael Palin KCMG CBE FRGS GRSGS FRSL is the author of ten travel books, two novels, and a non-fiction work. Michael’s work has taken him across the globe, from the dunes of the Sahara to the heights of the Himalayas, or retracing the steps of Ernest Hemingway across three continents. He has written, and performed in, the Monty Python series, Ripping Yarns and numerous travel documentaries, including Around the World in Eighty Days, Pole to Pole and Michael Palin in North Korea. Michael received a BAFTA Academy Fellowship award in 2013.


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