Gower St Presents: The Orwell Prize 2024 Finalists

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82 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6EQ

Wednesday 19 June de 17:30 à 19:00


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We will be joined by Samantha Harvey (Orbital), Matthew Longo (The Picnic) and Jason Okundaye (Revolutionary Acts) discussing their books.

This event will bring together writers working in different forms from the Orwell Prize lists to read from their work and discuss how to 'make political writing into an art' - the stated aim of Orwell and the guiding principle of the prize.

We will be joined by Samantha Harvey (Orbital) for the Prize for Political Fiction, Matthew Longo (The Picnic) and Jason Okundaye (Revolutionary Acts) for the Prize for Political Writing.

Orbital, Samantha Harvey:

A team of astronauts in the International Space Station collect meteorological data, conduct scientific experiments and test the limits of the human body. But mostly they observe. Together they watch their silent blue planet, circling it sixteen times, spinning past continents and cycling through seasons, taking in glaciers and deserts, the peaks of mountains and the swells of oceans. Endless shows of spectacular beauty witnessed in a single day.

Yet although separated from the world they cannot escape its constant pull. News reaches them of the death of a mother, and with it comes thoughts of returning home. They look on as a typhoon gathers over an island and people they love, in awe of its magnificence and fearful of its destruction.

The fragility of human life fills their conversations, their fears, their dreams. So far from earth, they have never felt more part - or protective - of it. They begin to ask, what is life without earth? What is earth without humanity?

The Picnic, Matthew Longo:

Zooming in on a group of Hungarian activists to shed light on the world-changing events just before and after the collapse of the USSR, The Picnic captures the wild dreams and disillusionment of 1989 with extraordinary vividness.

Revolutionary Acts, Jason Okundaye:

Detailing the personal struggles, political fights and joyous celebrations of seven older gay Black British men, Okundaye's groundbreaking volume chronicles a national narrative hitherto sadly neglected.