Monique Roffey and C Pam Zhang, photo by Gioia Zloczower
Past Event

Global Conversations: Myth and Discovery

3 May 2021

To celebrate the 180th anniversary of The London Library, Monique Roffey (UK) and C Pam Zhang (USA) come together to discuss the common themes of myth and discovery

Monique Roffey’s Costa Book of the Year-winning The Mermaid of Black Conch and C Pam Zhang’s Booker-longlisted How Much of These Hills is Gold are two of the boldest and most beautifully written novels of the last year. Lyrical, fierce and subversive, they weave mythology, landscape and feminism into vividly imagined storytelling, challenging and revisioning colonial history. 

In partnership with The London Library, combining our Global Conversations series with their 180th anniversary celebrations, we bring both writers together across two continents to discuss the common themes of myth, discovery and the lure and lore of the frontier.

The London Library is a beautiful historic lending library in central London, a treasure trove of one million books on 17 miles of shelves. For its 180th anniversary, it is celebrating libraries as spaces of community, discovery and refuge.

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Monique Roffey

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and mostly educated in the UK. Monique is the author of six novels and a memoir including The Mermaid of Black Conch, which won the Costa Book of the Year, 2020 and was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Rathbones/Folio Award. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2010 and Archipelago won the OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature in 2013.

Photo by Gioia Zloczower

C Pam Zhang

C Pam Zhang was born in Beijing but is mostly an artifact of the United States, has lived in thirteen cities and is still looking for home. Her debut novel How Much of These Hills is Gold was longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020 and the Rathbones/Folio Prize 2021 and was one of Barack Obama’s Favourite Books of 2020. Her work appears in Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Tin House and elsewhere. She currently lives in San Francisco.  

Global Conversations

Curated specially for a festival that loves conversations in a time that limits face-to-face meetings, Global Conversations focuses on the conversations that some of the most creative minds of our planet have been dying to have with people who live far away from them. From the minutiae of mundane tasks to the importance of resistance, in a range of languages, but always human, this is a space to expand the mind. Take a look at more Global Conversation events: