Summer Autumn Programme 2013

3rd July 2013 8 p.m. Other People’s Money by Justin Cartwright

The Trevelyan family is in grave trouble. Their private bank of Tubal & Co. is in on the verge of collapsing. It’s not the first time in its three-hundred-and-forty year history, but it may be the last. A sale is under way, and a number of important facts need to be kept hidden, not only from the public, but also from Julian Trevelyan-Tubal’s deeply traditional father, Sir Harry, who is incapacitated in the family villa in Antibes. Great families, great fortunes and even greater secrets collide in this gripping, satirical and acutely observed story of our time.

“Urgently topical fiction with its finger on the pulse of earth-shaking events … Cartwright’s fiction has an uncanny habit of catching the zeitgeist in nets of fine-meshed tragi-comic steel” (Independent)

hope a tragedy14th August 2013, 8 p.m. Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander

Hope: A Tragedy The rural town of Stockton, New York, is famous for nothing: no one was born there, no one died there, nothing of any historical import at all has ever happened there, which is why Solomon Kugel, like other urbanites fleeing their pasts and histories, decided to move his wife and young son there.

His ailing mother stubbornly holds on to life, and won’t stop reminiscing about the Nazi concentration camps she never actually suffered through. To complicate matters further, some lunatic is burning down farmhouses just like the one Kugel bought, and when, one night, he discovers history—a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history—hiding upstairs in his attic, bad quickly becomes worse.

“A wonderful, twisted, transgressive, heartbreaking, true, and hugely funny book. It will make very many people angry. It will also make very many people very happy.” A. L. Kennedy, author of Day

Winner of the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize for Jewish Literature 2013

book of negroes2nd October 2013, 8 p.m. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Abducted from her West African village at the age of eleven and sold as a slave in the American South, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom – and of finding her way home again. After escaping the plantation, torn from her husband and child, she passes through Manhattan in the chaos of the Revolutionary War, is shipped to Nova Scotia, and then joins a group of freed slaves on a harrowing return odyssey to Africa.

Based on a true story, Lawrence Hill’s epic novel spans three continents and six decades to bring to life a dark and shameful chapter in our history through the story of one brave and resourceful woman.

“The ebb and flow of Aminata’s fortunes is gripping stuff, with the horrors inflicted upon her and her people brought to life almost matter-of-factly – and all the more enraging for that.” (Daily Mail )

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2008

the invisible bridge13th November 2013 8 p.m. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, an architecture student, has arrived from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to Clara Morgenstern a young widow living in the city. When Andras meets Clara he is drawn deeply into her extraordinary and secret life, just as Europe’s unfolding tragedy sends them both into a state of terrifying uncertainty.

From a remote Hungarian village to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labour camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a marriage tested by disaster and of a family, threatened with annihilation, bound by love and history.

“Old-fashioned in the best possible way: a big, generously involving story, utterly convincing in its texture and detail. Beautiful and sad.” (Metro )