Events

An Evening With Zadie Smith

Monday 4th September 2023
19:00 at The Leggate Theatre , Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool , Ashton Street Liverpool , L69 3DR

An Evening With Zadie Smith

Waterstones Liverpool are honoured and delighted to welcome the multi award-winning author Zadie Smith, who joins us to discuss her first historical novel The Fraud.  

It is 1873. Mrs Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper - and cousin by marriage - of a once famous novelist, now in decline, William Ainsworth, with whom she has lived for thirty years.

Mrs Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist; and England of being a land of facades, in which nothing is quite what it seems.

Andrew Bogle meanwhile grew up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica. He knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realise.  When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story.

The 'Tichborne Trial' captivates Mrs Touchet and all of England. Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is? Or is he a fraud? Mrs Touchet is a woman of the world. Mr Bogle is no fool. But in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what is real proves a complicated task . . .

Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity, and the mystery of 'other people'.

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White TeethThe Autograph ManOn BeautyNW and Swing Time; as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia; three collections of essays, Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations; a collection of short stories, Grand Union; and the play, The Wife of Willesden, adapted from Chaucer. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was born in north-west London, where she still lives. The Fraud is her first historical novel.

Zadie Smith will be in conversation with Caroline Cauchi. 

Known as Caroline Cauchi and Caroline Smailes, Caroline writes both historical and experimental fiction. Her acclaimed debut novel, In Search of Adam, was published in 2007 (The Friday Project/HarperCollins). The Big Issue North declared the book 'an engrossing and touching read from a new talent'. Since then Caroline has written eight additional novels. Her latest historical fiction novel, Mrs Van Gogh, was published in the UK and internationally this year. She lives on the Wirral and is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hull.

Further details: 0151 709 9820

The Leggate Theatre , Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool , Ashton Street Liverpool , L69 3DR

Monday 4th September 2023
19:00

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