Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells: Sarah Churchwell in conversation

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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • From £2.50 – £13 Members’ priority booking opens 31 January, general sale 1 February

How Gone with the Wind has divided a country.

This event will take place at the British Library. It will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

The online version of this event will be live captioned.

Gone with the Wind (1936) was an instant bestseller, a Pulitzer prizewinner and an even more famous film. The love story of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler plays out in the Southern state of Georgia during the American Civil War and the Reconstruction era that followed. Both the novel and the film have traditionally been regarded as canonical accounts of life in the 19th-century US.

But have they in fact been inspirational in the worst possible ways? Creating myths about race, class and gender that have ripped America apart; informing the resurgence of white nationalism, the Black Lives Matter movement, the enduring power of the American Dream, and the violence of Trumpism?

At this event Sarah Churchwell, one of our leading writers on American culture, revisits Gone with the Wind and its part in a dangerous fantasy of history. She talks to writer and journalist Philip Clark.

Half price tickets available for Members, Students, Under 26s and other concession groups.

Sarah Churchwell is Professor in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is the author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great GatsbyThe Many Lives of Marilyn MonroeBehold, America: A History of America First and the American Dream and The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells. Her literary journalism has appeared widely in newspapers including the GuardianNew StatesmanFinancial TimesTimes Literary Supplement and New York Times Book Review, and she comments regularly on arts, culture, and politics for UK television and radio. She has judged many literary prizes, including the 2014 Man Booker Prize and the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction, and she was a co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award.

Philip Clark is an author and music journalist who spent twenty years writing about classical music, modern composition, jazz, free improvisation and rock music for many leading publications including The Wire, Gramophone, The Guardian and London Review of Books. He trained as a composer (and in that capacity worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the percussionist Orphy Robinson), but has more recently preferred to produce his own sounds playing piano as part of a weekly free improvisation workshop. His biography of Dave Brubeck – A Life In Time – was published in 2020, and he worked with legendary guitarist of The Kinks, Dave Davies, on his autobiography, Living On A Thin Line, published in 2022. Philip is currently writing Sound and The City – due for publication in 2024 – a history of the sound of New York City. He was co-winner of the 2022 Eccles Centre and Hay Festival Writers Award, which gave him a year-long writer’s residency at the British Library.

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Name: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells: Sarah Churchwell in conversation
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £2.50 – £13
Members’ priority booking opens 31 January, general sale 1 February
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.