08:15 8 June 2022
Novels, memoirs, cookbooks and the inside story of Trump’s re-election bid are up for discussion as the annual Proms at St Jude’s Arts Festival kicks off with a weekend of informed talk.
From June 25 to July 3 in Hampstead Garden Suburb, the 30th anniversary season includes children’s events, heritage walks and first class music like The Darius Brubeck Quartet and Fantasy Orchestra.
But first there’s the literary festival at the Henrietta Barnett School with former BBC Washington correspondent Jon Sopel discussing his biting and funny diary of Donald Trump’s 2020 US presidential campaign in the face of a global pandemic. He is in conversation with the former director of communications No 10 Simon Lewis June 25.
Later that day, the novelist and biographer Victoria Glendinning is in conversation with former newsreader Julia Somerville about her book about the uphill battles and passions of the family behind the John Lewis brand. So Francois Spufford discusses his acclaimed novel Light Perpetual which imagines the alternate futures of five London children killed in a rocket attack during the blitz.
Member of the SAGE Committee and Head of Health Research at Wellcome Trust Jeremy Farrar is joined by FT Science columnist Anjana Ahuja and BBC Health correspondent Hugues Pym to discuss the inside story of the Covid pandemic and test the Government’s claim that it has always “followed the science”.
and acclaimed novelist Colm Toibin makes a virtual appearance as the winner of the 2021 David Cohen Prize for Literature for his 10-novel body of work that includes Brooklyn and his latest The Magician. The Irish writer has also published his first volume of poetry Vinegar Hill and is in conversation with the biographer Hermione Lee for the online event only.
On June 26, the chat kicks off with the North West London novelist Charlotte Mendelson and his new book The Exhibitionist, which is about an outrageously selfish male artist preparing for his comeback from the exhibition amid toxic marital and family dynamics. Hampstead Garden Local Suburb Claudia Roden shares the influence of the Mediterranean on his lifelong passion for cooking in his new book Med – A Cookbook with BBC Food Program presenter Dan Saladino.
Journalist and political commentator Steve Richards speculates on The Prime Ministers We Never Had in his new book, so if you’re pining for a lost premiership of David Miliband or Jeremy Corbyn, this is your event.
And Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson ends the weekend with his bittersweet memoir Mother’s Boy: A Writer’s Beginnings, which takes readers to his childhood in Manchester, studying at Cambridge and landing in Australia as a maverick young teacher, tackling issues of belonging , Jewish identity and the writer’s gift of being both an insider and an outsider.
Book lovers can buy a £25 online pass for all Lit festival events or book individually https://www.promsatstjudes.org.uk/2022-litfest