Autumn Lecture Series 2022

What am I Living For? The Search for Meaning

Monday 24th October
What am I Living For? Telling Our Story

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What Am I Living For? Telling Our Story

In this lecture we bring together leading novelists to share with us the importance of the novel and the power of story in our search for meaning, understanding and identity.

James Runcie

James Runcie is the author of twelve novels, including the seven books in The Grantchester Mysteries series. He is also an award-winning documentary film-maker, playwright and literary curator. He has been Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival, Head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre, London, and Commissioning Editor for Arts on BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His latest novel is The Great Passion, a behind the scenes fictional account of the composition, rehearsal period and first performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. He is also presenting a series about creative writing on Radio 4: Secrets of Storytelling.

Chibundu Onuzo

Chibundu Onuzo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her life so far spans two military dictatorships, one internet revolution, two boarding schools, five grandmothers and a first book deal signed at nineteen. Her first novel The Spider King’s Daughter was the winner of a Betty Trask Award and shorted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Book. Chibundu was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, as part of its “40 Under 40” initiative. Her latest novel, Sankofa, was a BBC 2 Between the Covers Book Club pick. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @chibunduonuzo.

Patrick Gale

Patrick is a highly acclaimed novelist. In addition to his latest book, Mother’s Boy, published in March 2022, his seventeen novels include Take Nothing With You, which was his fourth Sunday Times bestseller, Rough Music, Notes From an Exhibition, A Perfectly Good Man and A Place Called Winter. In 2017 his two part drama Man in an Orange Shirt was screened by BBC2 as part of the Gay Britannia season. Continuing to be broadcast regularly around the world, this won the International Emmy for best miniseries and is now in development as a musical. Patrick is a keen cellist and gardener. He is the artistic director of the North Cornwall Book Festival, where he lives.

Sarah Meyrick (Chair)

Sarah Meyrick is currently Assistant Editor of the Church Times. She is the Director of the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature, a literary festival with a theological slant. She is the author of three novels: Knowing Anna; The Restless Wave; and Joy and Felicity.


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