Even if you are long out of school, September is always a fresh start. A time to look forward to the new, when all the best telly is on and the bestseller lists are at their most varied and exciting. Although this year there may not be much change from the lists of previous months, thanks to a certain ‘erotic’ novel…
As Olympics fever fades, and the wettest-Summer-ever (probably) segues into Autumn, we look forward to one of our most captivating Events Calendars yet.
First up, in what is set to be one of our Autumn highlights, we will be hosting Sebastian Faulks in an event at the Oxford Town Hall, on Tuesday 11th September. This will be the first opportunity to get your hands on Faulks’ new book, ‘A Possible Life’, a novel that explores the chaos left behind by love, grief and divided loyalties. As one of our most talented authors, and a literary heavyweight, Faulks is a fascinating speaker. This event is not to be missed.
On Thursday 20th September, comes an event about one of the most influential journalists of the twentieth century. Polish journalist and writer, Ryszard Kapuscinski, was a fearless investigator with an enormous range to his curiosity. His reporting took him from postcolonial Africa, to revolutionary Iran and the military dictatorships of Latin America and Soviet Russia. His prominent work during the Cold War even warranted the attentions of the CIA. Our speaker, Artur Domoslawski, has been allowed unprecedented access to the personal papers of his longtime mentor, and as such has written a candid and exhaustive biography of this most charismatic of characters. Join us to celebrate Kapuscinski’s life and works for what promises to be an illuminating evening.
As much of the Middle East is still reeling from the wave of dramatic changes set in motion in December 2010, we look to our very own panel of esteemed academics to provide the commentary and the answers. On Wednesday 26th September, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappé and Eugene Rogan will be discussing Israel and the Arab Spring, providing their own take on this extremely complex issue.
Moving on to fiction, another September must-see comes from Tarun J. Tejpal and the launch of his novel, ‘The Story of My Assassins’. A few of us Blackwellians have already read this book and loved it. I’m reading it myself at the moment, and cannot recommend it highly enough. Based on actual events, it tells the story of a journalist who learns that the police have captured five hitmen on their way to kill him. Blowing apart the relative comfort of his former life, just as he’s started upon a steamy affair with a brilliant woman, the news prompts him to launch an urgent investigation into the lives of his would-be murderers.
Tarun Tejpal is a journalist, publisher, novelist and founder of Tehelka, one of India’s leading news magazines. He famously reported for Tehelka on the devastating corruption rife in India’s defense industry. So determined has he been to promote the public’s interests in this, that he consequently endured the death threats that went on to inspire ‘The Story of My Assassins’.
And now for something completely different…
For the first time, Blackwell’s is running a series of arts and crafts workshops, aimed at giving you a taste of how to paint a landscape, create a botanical sketch or make your very own notebook. Based in a comfortable and friendly setting with local experts, at the end of the night you’re sure to have something wonderful to take home with you.
Monday 17th September at 7-9pm. Bookbinding
Learn how to make a notebook with Penny, Blackwell’s very own bookbinding expert! Create your notebook, using the materials provided and take it home as the perfect souvenir or gift for a loved one.
Monday 24th September at 7-9pm. Botanical Drawing
Sarah Simblet, from the Ruskin School of Art, will be teaching us how to create beautiful technical drawings of plant materials. Perfect for the budding gardener or wildlife enthusiast.
Monday 1st October at 7-9pm. Literary Landscapes
The most literary of our workshops takes the moody literary landscapes of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ as a starting point. You will go on to paint your own landscapes using Indian Ink, watercolours and wax resist techniques, lead by the brilliant local artist, Kieran Stiles.
All this and more is going on at Blackwell’s this September. Make sure not to miss out, and see our website – www.blackwell.co.uk – for more details on all these events.