6th December 201412:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Jessie Burton Anne Donovan
Jessie is not only a phenomenal new talent but also a wonderfully warm, smart and funny person. She is in her early 30s, and she has previously worked as an actress (and, as you’d expect is so good at bringing her book to life when reading aloud and is a magnetic speaker), interspersing roles at the National, the Donmar and the Bristol Old Vic with work as a PA – in fact, she wrote a fair bit of this novel in secret between Excel spreadsheets!
Praise for Jessie Burton
‘A fabulously gripping read that will appeal to fans of Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch… Burton is a genuinely new voice.’
The Miniaturist is one of those novels that reminds you why you love to read. Set in Amsterdam, 1686, it tells the story of an impoverished young woman, Nella, who comes from the countryside to the city to marry a much older man, a powerful but mysterious merchant. So far, so traditional. But gradually she realises that the family she has married into is hiding a lot of secrets that could endanger them all. Her new husband buys her a miniature version of their house as a belated wedding present, and Nella hires a miniaturist to help furnish it. But when this mysterious miniaturist starts predicting events in her life, Nella is forced to face her destiny – and decide what she is prepared to do to survive and save the lives of others.
Portrait photograph of author Anne Donovan
Gone Are The Leaves
by Anne Donovan
Anne Donovan is the author of the prize-winning novel Buddha Da, the short-story collection Hieroglyphics and Being Emily. Buddha Da was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Scottish Book of the Year Award, and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It received a Scottish Arts Council Award and won the Le Prince Maurice Award in Mauritius in 2004. She has also written for radio and the stage and has been working on the screenplay for the film of Buddha Da. She lives in Glasgow.
Praise for Anne Donovan
‘Donovan also reveals an innocent sensuality in the Scots she uses… It matches perfectly the setting, the romance of the past, and this simple but heartfelt tale. It all makes for a book many of us will want to read many times.’
Feilamort can remember very little of his childhood before he became a choir boy in the home of the Laird and his French wife. Deirdre has lived in the castle all her short life. Apprentice to her mother, she embroiders the robes for one of Scotland’s finest families. She can capture, with just a few delicate stitches, the ripeness of a bramble or the glint of bronze on a fallen leaf. But with her mother pushing her to choose between a man she does not love and a closed world of prayer and solitude, Deirdre must decide for herself what her life will become. When the time comes for Feilamort to make an awful decision, his choice catapults himself and Deirdre head-first into adulthood. Full of wonder and intrigue, Gone Are the Leaves is the enchanting story of one boy’s lost past and his uncertain future.
Wonderful event – it was an absolute tonic being in the company of the author and listening to her read her own work. Thank you! Will be recommending your lunches!
Alexandra Lavery, TFL