Carry On Europe: Jonathan Coe and Robert Menasse


We’re delighted to pair two award-winning authors that take an acerbic view of current political travails.

Jonathan Coe’s Middle England is a state-of-the-nation novel beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and in London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever. It follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.

The Capital by Robert Menasse, expertly translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch, is at once a sharp satire, a crime story, a comedy of manners and a philosophical essay. Billed as the major European novel, and published on the eve of Brexit, at its heart is a powerful pro-European message: no-one should forget the circumstances that gave rise to the European project in the first place.

As Ezra Pound said: “Literature is news that stays news”. Join us and see how these two works of fiction cast more light on our current times than any work of journalism. The event will be chaired by the Literary Editor of the Financial Times, Frederick Studemann.


Jonathan Coe:

Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1961. He began writing at an early age. His first published novel was The Accidental Woman in 1987, but it was his fourth, What a Carve Up!, that established his reputation as one of England’s finest comic novelists, winning the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1985 and being translated into many languages. Seven bestselling novels and many other awards have followed, including the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for Like A Fiery Elephant, a biography of the experimental novelist, B. S. Johnson.


Robert Menasse:

Robert Menasse was born in Vienna in 1954 and studied there before moving to Brazil, where he lived for six years as a professor of literature at the University of São Paulo. He is the author of several novels translated into English, including Wings of Stone and Reverse Thrust. In 2017 he was awarded the German Book Prize for Die Hauptstadt (The Capital).


7pm, 28th February, All Saints Church, Lovelace Rd, SE21 8JY

Tickets: £10 Standard | £20 with a copy of The Capital by Robert Menasse | £22 with a copy of Middle England by Jonathan Coe | £35 for a ticket and copies of both books. A glass of wine courtesy of the Austrian Cultural Forum included.

Please note this event will take place at All Saints Church. All Saints is a 10-minute walk from West Dulwich and Tulse Hill train stations. It is served by the number 3 bus service from Brixton, the 201 to Thurlow Park Road, and various services to nearby Tulse Hill. There is ample parking in the vicinity.

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