Monday, 7 April 2014


I'm delighted to announce the launch of a new literary salon, with its first public event on 15th May. 
Behind every great writer is a library full of beloved books - from childhood favourites to grown-up classics. The Books That Built Me will explore the novels that have most influenced and inspired an author’s life and work.

Supported by Harper’s Bazaar, the first Books That Built Me salon is with author, broadcaster and academic, Sarah Churchwell.  Sarah and I will discuss her life in books, and the journey that led her to write the critically acclaimed Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby.

Careless People tells the true story behind F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, carefully reconstructing the crucial months during which Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald returned to New York in the autumn of 1922 - parties, jazz clubs and speakeasies, high society and organized crime, and the celebrity culture that surrounded the Fitzgeralds. As Sarah says, ‘Gatsby exemplifies everything that shaped my career: understanding why we love the books that we love, and sharing not only the love, but the explanation, with others.’

The Books That Built Me is on 15th May 2014, 6.30pm until 8.30pm, at The Club at The Café Royal. Tickets are priced at £12 and include a signed copy of Careless People and a pre-talk cocktail reception or £22 which includes a 12 month subscription to Harper's Bazaar in addition to a copy of  Careless People (not to forget the pre-talk cocktail...the spirit of Fitzgerald runs strong in me...). The Club at the Cafe Royal is super-chic, and has long been a bolthole for authors of books that built me, of which more in a later post.
 For tickets, please click here.  Capacity is limited so do reserve your spot early.
“Part memoir, part painstaking historical research, Careless People brings to vivid life prohibition era New York and will make you rethink almost everything you thought you knew about F.Scott Fitzgerald and his most famous work.”
Harper’s Bazaar.



Rose said...

This sounds lovely! Good location too- I'm been wanting to pop inside for a long time- I love their littelr displays in the window on Regent Street. Hope I can come!

Helen Brocklebank said...

I hope you can too - I think it will be enormous fun - Sarah is hugely entertaining.

George Tannenbaum said...

I wish I could be there. Alas.

Helen Brocklebank said...

I will set up a live transatlantic feed

ELS said...

I desperately want to come; I spent a silly number of years pretending I was decadent in a wit-and-cocktails-at-the-Algonquin sort of way, and wishing someone would die of love for me. I think I was more a late-again-hungover-clutching-a-knickerbox-bag type of decadent and now happily I am too old to die of love for anyone but dogs and cake.

I live miles away but I will try and come along; will there be more?