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6pm BST/1pm ET

Free for all! (online)

To launch the new partnership between New York Public Library (NYPL) and the Royal Society of Literature (RSL), join two of the finest fiction writers working today for an unmissable online conversation.

President of the RSL and Booker Prize winner, Bernardine Evaristo, will be joined by best-selling author of The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett, for a transatlantic exchange about why literature matters so much to them.

This flagship Literature Matters: RSL 200/Live from NYPL event will be available to watch live, for free via Zoom, simulcast to YouTube. Following the live event, the programme will remain viewable on the NYPL website and YouTube channel.


Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan. Her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller, and her second novel The Vanishing Half was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and in 2021, she was chosen as one of Time’s Next 100 Influential People. Her essays have been featured in The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineThe Paris Review, and Jezebel.

Bestselling British author Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize 2019 with her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other, the first black woman and black British person to win it. Her latest book is a memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up published in the US in February 2022 by Grove Atlantic. Her many honours include British Book Awards, an OBE, becoming one of 100 Great Black Britons and a Forbes 50 Over 50 honoree 2022.  She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, International Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and President of the Royal Society of Literature.

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This event is presented in partnership with the New York Public Library.