Literature Matters: RSL 200 is our bicentenary event series bringing together some of world’s best-known writers to explore the impact of literature on their lives.
RSL Fellow Stephen Fry and comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi will come together in the iconic Union Chapel for a unique live-streamed event.
They will discuss their writing across forms that has elevated them each to the status of national treasure, and discuss the impact that this challenging year has had on their creativity.
Stephen grew up in a house with colossal bookcases filled with classic works of literature, using them as medicine cabinets to treat his childhood. He has remarked that writing is a ‘newer technology – only five or six thousand years old’ by which ‘we can change utterance into permanence’, and when once asked for writing advice, he responded: ‘the important thing to do for those who want to liberate their writing is to be able to let go of their self-consciousness, to allow the words to write for them.’
Shappi established herself as one of the country’s finest comedians in 2006 with her sell-out Edinburgh show, Asylum Speaker, which told the story of how her family were forced to flee Iran and gain asylum in the UK. The show led to the publication of her childhood memoirs, A Beginner’s Guide To Acting English. her first novel, Nina is Not OK, was published in 2016. She has appeared on numerous TV and Radio shows including: Mock The Week, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Have I Got News For You, QI, Live At The Apollo, Just a Minute and The Secret Policeman’s Ball for Amnesty International. She has an honorary doctorate from Winchester University for her contribution to the arts and recently received the James Joyce Award from University College Dublin. She is Vice President of the British Humanist Association. She is also currently hoping to receive an apology from Ealing Council for consistently failing to remove her bins on time. Her screenwriting debut was in the form of Sky’s Little Crackers in 2011 and she has recently been commissioned to write a drama script for BBC Television. She has yet to learn to drive.
In partnership with the British Library
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