Events Calendar
Dec 5
18:00 - 19:15
Julia Blackburn
Creative Writing Reading Series

We are delighted to be welcoming Julia Blackburn to the Reading Series on Tuesday. Julia is a novelist, memoirist, radio playwright, and non-fiction writer, whose subjects have included Napoleon ("A melancholy and exquisitely bizarre essay on fame, morality and the vanity of human wishes", LRB), Goya ("A near-perfect work... combines lyrical style with such exceptional imaginative power and intelligence", Sunday Times), Billie Holiday ('nowhere else is the context of her family so vividly captured', Toni Morrison), and her family and herself. 

                Her most recent book is the extraordinary Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske. Craske was a Norfolk fisherman who came back from the First World War in a chronic stuporous state. He would sometimes rouse himself to produce paintings and tapestries of nautical subjects, often of storms buffeting ships at sea. Threads is about the artist and his art and times; it is also about the process of researching and writing a book as well as a self-portrait by stealth of the writer herself. As such, it is a fascinating companion piece to the more overtly autobiographical The Three of Us, Julia's 2009 memoir of family dramas, romances and wars.

Praise for Threads

"Oh, what a miraculous book this is: parochial, weird and inconclusive in a way that few books dare to be these days, and illustrated so generously, with something beautiful or interesting on every other page." (Rachel Cooke Observer)

"It is hard to pin down what it is that makes Threads such a warmly attractive book… Julia Blackburn is an odd, sometimes even disconcerting writer, but she is an amazingly good one, too. The words she puts on paper do what written words should do: they make things real… She leaves her reader feeling grateful and happy." (Literary Review)

Praise for The Three of Us

"Despite the darkness of the rooms she re-enters, Blackburn's book isn't gloomy in the least . . . However unforgiving her detail, tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner is the message of this extraordinary book." (Blake Morrison, Guardian)

An unnerving book about manipulation and loss, and about the complicated burdens families inflict on one another down through the generations. As a literary memoir of a lost childhood, it is remarkable as much for its candour as its craftsmanship." (The Sunday Times)

Julia will be reading from and discussing Threads as well as previous books. 


Keynes College,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to All welcome,

£2 in the pink bucket

Contact: David Flusfeder


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012