Celebrating Nelson Mandela: His Letters, His Legacy

Vigil for writers in Saudi Arabia
1pm, 31 January 2020
Embassy of Saudi Arabia, UK

Join us, ALQST and Reporters Without Borders on 31 January for our next monthly vigil in solidarity with writers, journalists and activists at risk and imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

This month’s protest will mark five years since the brutal public flogging of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi on 9 January 2015. Despite having been arrested more than two years earlier, it was not until Badawi was lashed 50 times in public, with hands and feet bound, that the world really began to pay attention to his case.

Ever since, we have been holding regular vigils at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London to maintain awareness of his case and to show our support for Badawi and the many other writers, journalists and activists detained in the Kingdom.

(NB: supporters are asked to meet at the Curzon Street entrance to the Embassy.)

English PEN x Gower Street present: Hina Belitz, Meena Kandasamy & Intan Paramaditha
6.30pm, 4 March 2020

In collaboration with Waterstones Gower Street, we are bringing together three writers challenging expectations of Asian women – and challenging the form of the novel itself.

Chaired by English PEN’s Hannah Trevarthen, authors Hina BelitzMeena Kandasamy and Intan Paramaditha will discuss their inventive uses of form, normalising Asian stories, and examine the freedom afforded by personal writing versus the expectations of Asian writers worldwide.

Hina Belitz
’s feel-good novel To Lahore, With Love (Headline) follows Irish-Pakistani Addy as she unearths a family secret and grapples with two sides of her upbringing. Hina is passionate about normalising Asian stories – especially within the women’s fiction sphere – and breaking out of existing common misconceptions.

Meena Kandasamy’s experimental novella Exquisite Cadavers (Atlantic) challenges the form of the novel, with its energetic tale of modern love in a bustling urban capital and the conflicts that arise from clashing cultures. Her Women’s Prize-shortlisted When I Hit You presents a woman in contemporary Indian society.

Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha’s ingenious and unusual novel The Wandering (VINTAGE) – through which the reader chooses their own story –  the highs and lows of global nomadism, the politics and privileges of travel and desire, and the freedoms and limitations of the choices we make.

Join them for readings, discussion, and audience Q&A.

Tickets are £10 / £8 Students and Plus cardholders, including a drink