Learn Live: Food in 20th- and 21st-century Literature

Illustration of fruit
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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • Full Price: £20.00 Other concessions available

Explore the world of literary food creations

Read the course outline (PDF)

Afternoon-tea excess in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca; war-time care packages from Cornwall in Mary Wesley’s The Camomile Lawn; Hortense’s lack of familiarity with chips in Andrea Levy’s Small Island; the persistence of post-war rationing in Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women; the dishes in restaurants and at kitchen tables in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane; plantain fried perfectly brown and crisp in Bernardine Evaristo’s Mr Loverman: there is a wealth of food to be tasted in contemporary literature.

Exploring a century and a bit of English literature, we will consider the ways in which food reveals character, anchors us in time and place, and can become the story itself. While our primary focus will be a reading of food in these and other texts, there will be a chance too to draft and develop your own non-fiction food writing.

No previous knowledge or experience is required, though you will be asked to bring along your favourite examples of detailed, visceral, delicious food writing in 20th or 21st century fiction. You will be provided with a pre-course reading pack and signposted to additional online resources, both at the British Library, and beyond.

This course takes place on Zoom and we will email you a joining link the day before. There will be opportunities to ask the tutor, Kate Young, questions throughout, and have conversations with your fellow participants in virtual breakout rooms.

Live captions will be provided by Stagetext

This course is one of three-part course on food in literature. You may also like

Learn Live: Food in Children’s Literature – Wednesday 15 September

Learn Live: Food in 19th-century Literature – Wednesday 22 September


Name: Learn Live: Food in 20th- and 21st-century Literature
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £20.00
Student: £16.00
Registered Unemployed: £16.00
Disabled: £16.00
Senior (60+): £18.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now