Happy, healthy, home? 2017

Thank you to everyone who came to Balham Literary Festival 2017.

We’ll see you in June next year.


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Thursday 8th June 19:00

Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers is a confident, thoughtful and life-enhancing cook, who writes a weekly column for The Guardian. She is also a shrewd and pioneering businesswoman, the co-founder of the famous Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca, and a philanthropist, not to mention the mother of three daughters.

Friday 9th June: 18.30

Jeremy Greenstock in conversation with Patrick Wintour

Scheduled for publication in 2005, Sir Jeremy Greenstock’s incendiary Iraq: The Cost of War is one of the most important books ever to be postponed by the British government. It is written by the UK’s former ambassador to the United Nations and it describes the role of Britain in the Iraq War from the point of view of an insider. Initially banned by Jack Straw it was finally published last year and explains in detail how we got involved and why.

Friday 9th June: 20.00

Laura Barnett + Kathryn Williams

We turn from war and its aftermath to a fun, music-filled evening of word and song. Laura Barnett is the author of the fabulous bestselling novel The Versions of Us. Her new book is Greatest Hits, the story of a former 1970s rock star who looks back at her tumultuous life. This event will be the first opportunity to buy the book before its official publication on 15th June.

Saturday 10th June: 10.00

Jane Clarke

Everyone knows that chameleons are the best at fitting in. But not Leon. Leon is neon! In fact, he’s SO bright that he keeps all the other chameleons awake at night. But poor Leon is lonely, so he goes off in search of somewhere he can blend in. Will he ever find a place he can fit in…?

Saturday 10th June: 16.30

Rachel Holmes, Jeremy Harding, Sabrina Mahfouz and Ahdaf Soueif

Founded in 2008 with the mission of affirming ‘the power of culture over the culture of power’, The Palestine Festival of Literature (Palfest) is an annual event that takes place in cities across Palestine and Israel, including Jerusalem, Ramallah, Haifa and Nablus. It has become an iconic emblem of the ways in which writers and readers transcend obstacles to come together and to appreciate literature in all genres.

Sunday 11th June: 10.00

Sarah Driver

Set in a world of tribes and beasts and mystical powers, Sea is the first book in a brand new fantasty adventure trilogy set aboard The Huntress. Sea-churning, beast-chattering, dream-dancing, whale-riding, terrodyl-flying, world-saving adventure. If you like Northern Lights, The Lie Tree, The Last Wild or Rooftoppers, you'll love Sea.

Sunday 11th June: 14.00

Kapka Kassabova + Jan Rüger in conversation with Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Join us for a soul-searching journey to the edgelands. Kapka Kassabova’s brilliant book Border, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, takes us to the Eastern reaches of Europe, to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, a region of three alphabets, and reveals for us the human consequences of nationalism and totalitarianism, of the outcome of a narrow focus on identity and ethniticy, of the result of fences and walls.

Sunday 11th June: 17.00

Jay Griffiths

Tristimania tells the story of Jay Griffith’s devastating year-long episode of manic depression, culminating in a long solo pilgrimage across Spain. The book is a rare record of the experience of mania and shows how the condition is at once terrifying and also profoundly creative, both tricking and treating the psyche. In particular, it focusses on how literature might serve to alleviate the suffering and torment of mental illness.