Now that this year’s Book Festival is successfully concluded Clapham Writers next outing will be later this month at the Abbeville Fete (30th June) where members of our Management Board will be running the second-hand book stall in the Church of the Holy Spirit. Fete visitors will find copies of the Clapham Literary Trail and more information about the Book Festival available, as well as flyers for the next time authors get together to discuss books.
This will be in July at the Lambeth Country Show held in Brockwell Park, South London. Billed as the biggest outdoor family event in Europe with over 150,000 expected to attend across a weekend, this ever popular event includes all the elements of a country show – pony rides, animals (owls are a popular feature, as are birds of prey), competitions for vegetables and flowers, fancy dress, displays of jousting and other equine acrobatics, lots of music, food and activities. Gates open at 12 noon and close at 8 pm and it’s free.
One element is the Discovery zone, containing a marquee for various presentations and performances. Last year this included slots by curators of the Natural History Museum, members of the Royal College of Physicians, various musicians and performers, etc. etc. This year Lambeth approached Clapham Writers and have asked us to do two sessions, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
So we have Thriller in the Park on Saturday at 12.30 with Clapham based writer, Annemarie Neary, fellow Lambeth resident Sabine Durrant and former Lambeth resident, Isabelle Grey moderated by your blogger. Isabelle’s latest DI Grace Fisher novel, Wrong Way Home (Quercus, May 2018) is The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month in June 2018, as a young, true-crime blogger gets involved in a reopened case of rape and murder. Sabine’s latest Take Me In, published later in June, follows her Sunday Times best-seller and Richard & Judy Book Club Choice Lie With Me (both Mulholland Books). The latter is set in Lambeth. Annemarie’s The Orphans (Hutchinson, July 2017) continues to receive acclaim – it is, in large part, set on Clapham Common. We’ll be talking about what makes a good thriller and why crime writing has become so popular. The female of the species is more deadly than the male
On Sunday at the same time it’s The History Girls, with Professor Kate Williams, Elizabeth Buchan and me. Our ad copy reads – ‘Throughout history women have been silenced and thought weak-minded, puny and sexually incontinent. Come and hear how women novelists of today write about the history that excluded them.’ Having commentated on the royal wedding, historian Kate Williams will be talking about her biographies and her trilogy of novels set during and after the First World War. I will be taking folk back to the drama of Al Andalus as Moor and Christian battle it out and Elizabeth Buchan talks about writing about the SOE and Clapham Common in the aftermath of the Second World War. Wow, that sounds good.
Some of our trusty volunteers will be there to staff the book stall, with books ordered and supplied by Herne Hill Books (sister shop of Clapham Books). So it’s full steam ahead for the Lambeth Country Show.
Then…. well there’s Quickreads in Brixton Prison ( and on National Prison Radio ) with Vaseem Khan and, we hope, another Quickreads author and, at the start of September, the Clapham Summer Fete (see He Shouldn’t Have Parked There for a blog on last year’s event ).
A version of this post appeared on The Story Bazaar blog in June 2018.