Thursday 2nd May
Common People – Class in the Margins in Writing and Publishing
Venue: Toxteth Library, Windsor Street, Liverpool, L8 1XF
Time: 7.30pm (Doors at 7pm)
Tickets: £6/£3 (Students/Over 60s/Unemployed)
Almost half of all authors, writers and translators in the UK come from professional, middle-class backgrounds, compared with just ten per cent of those from a working-class background. So where are the working-class writers? The answer is right here. This exciting event brings together writers from two breakthrough anthologies, Common People (Unbound) and Know Your Place (Dead Ink).
Common People brings together thirty-three contributors to share their experiences growing up working-class in an anthology of essays, poems and memoir, inviting you to see through their eyes. Written in celebration these pieces give voice to perspectives that are increasingly absent from our books and newspapers. Common People ensures they are heard loud and clear, looking to change how culture is represented of the nation’s demographics.
In July 2016, a little over a month after the Brexit vote, Nikesh Shukla, the man behind The Good Immigrant, tweeted: “Someone should do a Good Immigrant-style state of the nation book of essays by writers from working class backgrounds.” Liverpool based independent publishers immediate reply was: “We would publish the crap out of that.” – Know Your Place is that book. A collection of essays about the working class, by the working class.
Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother and a Caribbean father. My Name is Leon, her debut novel, was an international bestseller and won Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year in 2016. Her second novel, The Trick to Time, followed in April 2018. She established the Kit de Waal Creative Writing Scholarship at Birkbeck University to help improve working-class representation in the arts.
Lynsey Hanley was born in Birmingham and lives in Liverpool. She is the author of Estates: An Intimate History (Granta, 2007), Respectable: The Experience Of Class (Penguin, 2016), and wrote the Introduction to the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Richard Hoggart's The Uses Of Literacy (2009). She is a regular contributor to the Guardian, the Financial Times and the LRB blog, and is a visiting research fellow at Liverpool John Moores University.
Laura Waddell is UK Publishing Director at Tramp Press and board member of Gutter magazine. As a writer, her publications include Know Your Place, Nasty Women, The Digital Critic, The Guardian, TLS, Kinfolk magazine, and others.
See the calendar here