Greenwich Book Festival: Listen to talks from 2017

Greenwich Book Festival: Listen to talks from 2017
The Greenwich Book Festival has loads of brilliant talks and activities for adults and children. This year’s event was in May and we went along to record some talks to share with you.
We know that you love crime. So first we headed to ‘Watching the Detectives’, a conversation with crime writers Joseph Knox, Abir Mukherjee and Susie Steiner.

Jospeh Knox is a thriller writer, and his debut, Sirens, was nominated for this year’s The Times Breakthrough Award. He’s also Waterstones’ crime buyer – so it’s no wonder he knows his stuff!

Abir Mukherjee won the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph Crime Writing Competition for his debut historical crime thriller A Rising Man. The sequel, A Necessary Evil, came out in June, and a third in the series is due just next year.

Susie Steiner is an author and journalist. Her first novel was Homecoming. She has since released Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown, both of which feature DS Manon Bradshaw.

The talk was chaired by writer Lucy Atkins.

Listen to the full talk here:


Next we fancied some science. ‘When the Big Bang went Pop’ featured a host of scientists, science journalists and science presenters, to discuss what popular science writing can tell us and what it can’t. The panel consisted of:

Prof Joseph Conlon, author of Why String Theory?,  a recent popular-science book explaining the who, what and why of string theory;

Timandra Harkness, BBC radio presenter, stand-up comedian, comedy writer, and author of Big Data: Does Size Matter?;

Oliver Morton, award-winning science journalist and author of The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World; Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet; and Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination, and the Birth of a World;

and Dr Roberto Trotta, author of The Edge of the Sky: All you Need to Know about the All-There-Is – a book that answers big science questions only using the 1,000 most common words in English.

This talk was chaired by journalist Simon Hardeman.

Listen to the full talk here:


Finally, it was some time to delve into memoirs. This fascinating talk featured Jessica J Lee, Clover Stroud and Nell Stevens. They spoke about their scintillating stories and how they were able to write them down.

Jessica J Lee, living alone in Berlin, set herself a physical and mental challenge – to swim a new lake every week for a year, without a wetsuit or using a car to get there. Her book Turning is the tale of swimming to find her place in a city.

Clover Stroud describes in her book, The Wild Other, how a happy, unconventional childhood came to an abrupt end when her mother sustained devastating brain injuries in a riding accident. We see the decisions she made and the things she did as she lived her life from there.

Nell Stevens’ book Bleaker House received praise straight off the bat from Lena Dunham. It’s a humorous travelogue-memoir about how she isolated herself on the Falklands Islands on 1,100 calories a day to write a novel – and failed.

The talk was chaired by writer and journalist Patricia Nicol.

Listen to the full talk here:


To find out more about Greenwich Book Festival head over to their website. And check back there in 2018 for details on next year’s event!


This post was written by Holly Newson

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