The author of Grief is The Thing With Feathers, Porter is responsible for one of 2015's most extraordinary débuts. Telling the story of a recently widowed academic whose own anguish finds equivalences in the poetry of Ted Hughes, it is a challenging and formally experimental work that stretches our understanding of what a novel can be. The author's ambition more than pays off, and this is sure to go down as one of the year's, if not the decade's, most accomplished first outings.
This year's Turner Prize saw one of the biggest surprises in the award's thirty two year history. Assemble are an eighteen-person creative collective, and their winning project 'Granby 4 Streets' a grass-roots urban redevelopment scheme which saw them work with the local community in Liverpool's Toxteth neighbourhood. Its recognition and celebration by the art establishment marks a significant change in the way institutions understand the boundaries of creative practice, and we can't wait to hear Assemble-member Maria Lisogorskaya's thoughts on the matter.
Also on the bill is John Crace, a man well-versed in the art of concision. In his Guardian column ‘Digested Read’, he has proved himself a gifted satirist. Part-summary, part-commentary, part-parody, these articles see him take on literary titans with mercurial wit and an uncanny mastery of voice.
Andrea Wulf, meanwhile, is a much-celebrated author. Her most recent book The Invention of Nature is a biography of the nearly-forgotten naturalist Alexander von Humboldt whose admirers included the likes of Charles Darwin. Re-acquainting readers with Humboldt's extraordinary insights and his contributions to the field of biology, the book has won Wulf considerable praise.
Last but by no means least is prolific writer and journalist Misha Glenna. His most recent book Nemesis tells the remarkable story of Brazilian gang lord Nem, with a keen awareness of the situation’s moral complexity. It is an account of the man who brought relative peace to Rio de Janeiro’s Rocinha favela, but whose practices were by no means unimpeachable.
With such a variety of speakers, we can't wait for this event.
|What||5x15: Max Porter, Maria Lisogorskaya, John Crace, Misha Glenny, Andrea Wulf, The Tabernacle|
|Where||Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, London, W11 2AY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Notting Hill Gate (underground)|
On 18 Jan 16, Doors at 18:15, show starts at 19:00
|Website||Click here to book via the 5x15 website|