Fable, Folklore, Fiction

Fable, Folklore, Fiction

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With Joanne Harris, Fiona Mozley and Irenosen Okojie

Joanne Harris, Fiona Mozley and Irenosen Okojie come together to discuss how myth, legend, fable and folklore have influenced their work, and how great works of literature from the roots of our cultures can be reimagined for the modern reader. Chaired by cultural historian, broadcaster and author Janina Ramirez. 

In partnership with The Royal Society of Literature

Joanne Harris’ works include 18 novels – including Chocolat (1999), made into an Oscar-nominated film – two collections of short stories, and a Dr Who novella. Having cited Norse mythology, fairy tales and folklore as early childhood influences on her writing, she has since published two young adult novels, Runemarks and Runelight, as well as an adult novel, The Gospel of Loki, inspired by Norse myth.

Fiona Mozley’s first novel Elmet takes its title from the Celtic kingdom that once covered Yorkshire, referred to by Bede as ‘silva Elmete’ or the ‘Forest of Elmet’. The novel combines myth and parable with the modern day story of a family trying to live off the grid. Elmet  won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Polari Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 and the RSL Ondaatje Prize, and longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and the International Dylan Thomas Prize.

Irenosen Okojie has published two books, Butterfly Fish (2015) and Speak Gigantular (2016). Her writing weaves together myth and fairy tale to create modern day fables, influenced by both African and British mythology and folklore. Described as 'A liberatingly odd, seductive and fearless talent' (Laline Paull, The Bees) her work has been published in the New York Times, the Observer, the Guardian, the Huffington Post and the BBC. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018 as part of their ’40 Under 40’ initiative.

Janina Ramirez is a cultural historian, broadcaster and author whose books include The Private Lives of the Saints: Power, Passion and Politics in Anglo-Saxon England (2015), Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History (2016) and Riddle of the Runes (2018).

Image: Irenosen Okojie and Joanne Harris (Kyte Photography)


Name: Fable, Folklore, Fiction
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £12.00
Senior 60+: £10.00
Student: £8.00
Registered Unemployed: £8.00
Under 18: £8.00
Member Ticket: £12.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546