Professor John Carey in conversation with Caroline Sanderson at Alleyns School on Wednesday 26th March 7pm
John Carey, Emeritus Merton Professor of English at Oxford University, is best known for his provocative take on cultural issues in The Intellectuals and The Masses and What Good Are the Arts?
In conversation with Caroline Sanderson, he discusses the events that formed him – an escape from the London Blitz to an idyllic rural village, army service in Egypt, an open scholarship to Oxford and an academic career that saw him elected, age 40, to Oxford’s oldest English Literature professorship. He is frank about the snobberies and rituals of 1950s Oxford, but contrasts this with inspiring meetings with writers and poets –Auden, Graves, Larkin, Heaney – and his forty-year stint as a lead book-reviewer for the Sunday Times. Always warm and funny, he reveals the joys of reading – giving in effect, an informal introduction to the great works of English literature. He also talks about war and family, and how an unexpected background can give you the insight and the courage to say the unexpected thing.
Caroline Sanderson is a writer, editor and books journalist. She is a regular public speaker and broadcaster, and also chairs events at literary festivals. She was a judge for the 2013 Costa Biography Award and has been non-fiction editor of The Bookseller for over ten years.
Please note this event will take place in Alleyn’s Great Hall. Seating is unreserved. Concessions U18s only.
Tickets available online, call us on 020 8670 1920, pop into the bookshop or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Dulwich Books in partnership with the Family Rights Group is delighted to host Alan Johnson MP in the Crypt of All Saints Church on Rosendale Road on Thursday 5th June. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Family Rights Group of which Alan is a patron.
Tickets are bookable online, via telephone on 020 8670 1920, email to: email@example.com or pop into the bookshop.
London’s Notting Hill in the 1950s was an unimaginably different place to the white stucco splendour it’s known for today. Alan Johnson’s family lived in condemned housing, declared unfit for human habitation, in a cramped flat with no central heating, no electricity and no running water. His mother, Lily, battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and chronic loneliness to try and ensure a better life for her children.
His sister, Linda, took on an adult’s burden of responsibility and fought to keep the family together when she was still only a child. This personal story is played out against the background of a community on the verge of massive upheavals. We move from postwar austerity, through the early days of immigration and race riots, into the swinging Sixties, when Alan and his band recorded a record on Denmark Street and he became a teenage father and husband.
No matter how harsh the detail, Alan writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of misery. In the end, This Boy is about success against all the odds, and paints a vivid portrait of a bygone era.
Family Rights Group are the charity in England and Wales that advises families whose children are involved with or need children’s services because of welfare needs or concerns.
Dulwich Books presents Ben Macintyre in conversation with Caroline Sanderson to talk about his new book: A Spy Among Friends. This is the gripping account of Kim Philby who was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War.
Philby’s two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and well-made suits in the comfortable clubs and restaurants of London and Washington; of male friendships forged, and then systematically betrayed.
With access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the cooperation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, this definitive biography unlocks what is perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War.
Book tickets online from the Michael Croft Theatre at Alleyns, in the bookshop, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone 020 8670 1920.
Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper’s correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of nine books including Agent Zigzag, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, the number 1 bestseller Operation Mincemeat and, most recently, the Richard & Judy Book Club selection, Double Cross.
Ben will be in conversation with Caroline Sanderson who is a writer, editor and books journalist. Caroline is a regular public speaker and broadcaster, and also chairs events at literary festivals. She was a judge for the 2013 Costa Biography Award and has been non-fiction editor of The Bookseller for over ten years.
It gives us immense pleasure to annouce that Dulwich Books will host a talk and book signing with Man Booker winner John Banville in Dulwich College on Thursday 20th March. John has penned a new Philip Marlowe novel as he writes under the name of Benjamin Black.
John will be at Dulwich College, Lower Hall on Thursday 20th March in conversation with Tom Williams. Tom has written a brilliant biography of Raymond Chandler and is regarded as an expert on Chandler. This event will sell out, it’s John’s only London event so book tickets online, via email: email@example.com, via telephone on 020 8670 1920 or pop into the bookshop.
John Banville is currently publicising his new Benjamin Black novel Holy Orders and, understandably, interviewers are asking him about Philip Marlowe and Raymond Chandler. In this interview on RTE he talks a bit more about the experience of getting into Raymond Chandler’s head (listen from 1 hour 15 minutes in).
Raymond Chandler’s incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career. What do you think of The Black Eyed Blonde: “There is no doubting that this is the authentic Philip Marlowe, older, perhaps wiser, but still the same hard edged philosopher and pragmatist choosing to be amongst the venial and mortal sinners of LA life. Nor is there any doubt that this is a new authorial voice, a voice of the 21st century with a command of the sensitivities of contemporary readers and a confident command of the English language and the crime genre. And oh yes – it is obvious he’s Irish. The story works in key characters and plot lines from Chandler’s best work and subtly pays homage to the origins. Let’s hope that Black/Banville pursues this idea as it will attract an entirely new set f readers as well as satisfying the diehard Marlowe fans”.
Generally booksellers are a diverse bunch, and we here at Dulwich Books are no exception, with artists, illustrators, musicians, poets and nerds. (Reader, I am that nerd. Please try to contain your shock.)
We hail from all over, having served behind the counter at big chain bookstores, other tiny indies, second hand booksellers, children’s bookshops, the list goes on. A real bookseller is for life, not just for Christmas. And we all love books. Love them. Honestly, it’s almost a problem. We live them, breathe them, work with them, tweet about them, review them, fill our houses with them, and at the end of the day we run two book clubs just so we can talk to people about books a little bit more. We are passionately, enthusiastically, joyfully, a little bit weird about reading. Watch for the giddy glint in the eye next time you ask your bookseller for a recommendation.
And we know a winner when we read it. In 2013, we were honoured to host events with two Man Booker shortlisted authors. Philip snagged A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton in publisher advance proofs, was struck straight away by their sheer brilliance and contacted the authors to come to the shop for events LONG before Man Booker got their foot in the door… He recently picked the Goldsmith’s Prize Winner, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing as his top recommendation before the prize was announced. If he was a betting man, he would retire by now. Eyes open to see if he does as well with next year’s picks.
Watch some of our Books Are My Bag Day fun!
Welcome to our Rogue’s Gallery, a quick introduction to the faces and brains that will meet you when you come searching for your next read at Dulwich Books.
Describing the boss, let us tread carefully…owner of Dulwich Books these past 11 years and for six years before that the owner of the Beckenham Bookshop, just over the hill (n.b. – Beckenham and not Sheila (this joke is her husband’s, not mine!).She is the quintessential independent bookseller. She’s steered Dulwich Books through its 30th anniversary and two years of being voted London’s Best Independent Bookshop. The Bookselling Force Is Strong With This One. You can ask her advice about almost any book, but especially if you want some crime to keep you up past your bedtime.
Do any of you really need introducing to Philip? Probably not, because he’s been here forever (he made jokes about his age, but I will refrain…) But let’s spend a moment anyway, contemplating the Godfather of Dulwich Bookselling. He went to art school, which we won’t dwell on, and these days only stops reading long enough to paint. And when he paints? It’s about books. (He only just realised that.) It is always worth stopping him in the shop to ask what he’s reading, he is constantly searching out the unique, surprising and wonderful. He’s even on twitter @philipmaltman
Keep a beady eye open outside the shop and you might spot Annie either in the background of your TV in her role as an extra, or otherwise up to her elbows in the addictive smell and feel of secondhand books at a fair or bookstall. If you keep a beady eye open inside the shop, you’ll probably find her running our lovely children’s department and holding storytime, sharing the picture books she is so passionate about, so much so that she spends whatever is left of her spare time writing and illustrating her own.
Organisational powerhouse, and our go to for non-fiction, Dave sorts out most of our events and PR(he’s got TONS of experience with it, and it shows). Media writing, PR and events management… but fear not, he’s far more interesting than that all might imply. When not at work (and sometimes at work, if we are honest) he likes to turn his music up to eleven, and if you spot him in the street, it’s unlikely he will be without headphones. He likes politics, history, and any holiday in which creepy skulls can be used for decoration (so, Halloween, mostly). Tell him what you think @fauldsd
A once and future bookseller with a chequered past. (Science degrees, very disreputable.) Spends her days hoarding books about dragons and notebooks she will never fill. Ravenclaw. Is sometimes forced to describe herself in third person and finds this uncomfortable. Was once woken by the bookcase containing her to-read pile, as it toppled into her bed in the middle of the night. This near death experience has not made her reconsider her life choices.
Dulwich Books has been voted by our industry colleagues as London’s Best Independent Bookshop of the Year 2013. We are delighted to have received this accolade for the second year running and particular against such stiff competition in London.
Dulwich Books will celebrate 30th years at 6 Croxted Road in 2013 and the trade magazine The Bookseller recently carried a feature on us.
We love books and we love reading, the best of which we have reviewed and you can read all our reviews on our book review page.
If you are interested in fiction or crime Sheila may well have a suggestion for you or if it’s literary fiction then Philip will have books that could change your life, Dave will recommend excellent political reads for you and Dan will show you poetry that will blow your mind and translated fiction that you’ll love reading. Chloe’s knowledge of books is truely amazing and she has recommended to suit every reader and book lover, she’ll give you ideas even before you ask. Annie has all the children book reading needs covered, whether you are looking to challenge your child, provide them with lovely stories or engage them a funny novel, she’ll have the suggestions for you regardless of age. We are here to help you find that book you didn’t know about.
We’d love you to join in? If you want to read a particular book and then add your review to our website, just ask!
On Thursday 12th September we were delighted to host Eleanor Catton in conversation with her editor Max Porter. How might you ask did we secure an event with Eli well before her Man Booker Prize win on 15th October?
Early in 2013, Max Porter, her editor, popped in to chat with us and raved about a new novel he was publishing, called The Luminaries. He left us with an advance copy of the book and Philip took up the challenge to read the 832 pages of Eleanor’s second novel. Within days Philip was back at work praising the book, gripped by the tale and delighted that it was an engaging read and was inspired by the unique language. You can read his full review here.
Eli and Max’s conversation was funny, enlightening and very different than other author event you might have attended as Max had brilliantly chosen to focus on elements & themes of each chapter, using photographs and ask her why? The packed bookshop was enthralled and we still have customers coming back to tell us how privileged they felt at being part of the event.
A special evening and we hope Eleanor will come back to us again in the not to distant future.