Interview with Patrice Lawrence

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Patrice Lawrence has always wanted to be a writer. Alongside having a successful career in the charity sector, writing was something she always did – and supported and encouraged others to do. Born in Brighton to Caribbean parents, the self-confessed feminist and gardener lives in east London and has published work on equality and rights, as well as adult and children’s short stories through Hamish Hamilton, A and C Black and Pearson.

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Peepal Tree Salon

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Peepal Tree Press presents Peepal Tree Salon, featuring Yvonne Weekes (reading from Volcano), Desiree Reynolds (reading from Seduce) and Maya Chowdhry (reading from Fossil).

Yvonne Weekes believes that if you touch one soul, you change the world. If this is true, her impact has already been as forceful as the volcano she fled. As writer, actor, director, producer, performance poet, teacher facilitator, caring friend and mother, she has touched the souls of many and changed the lives of quite a few.

Desiree Reynolds was brought up in Clapham, London and started her writing career as a freelance journalist for the Jamaica Gleaner and the Village Voice. She has gone on to write film scripts, poetry and short stories. She continues to work as a journalist, writing book and film reviews. She is a broadcaster, creative writing workshop facilitator, DJ and mentor. Seduce is her first novel. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

A poet, transmedia writer and activist, Maya Chowdhry’s previous poetry collection is The Seamstress and the Global Garment. She’s also published in many anthologies, including Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe) and magazines such as Ambit. She’s won many accolades for her work, including the Cardiff International Poetry Competition.Tales from the Towpath, commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival, was shortlisted for the 2014 New Media Writing Prize.

Date: Wednesday 15 June 2016

Time: 7pm

Venue: Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

To find out how to reserve your place for this free event visit Waterstones website.

The Invisible Hand

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The language of money: Daniel Lapaine (Nick) and Parth Thakerar (Bashir). Photo: Mark Douet

Theatre: Tricycle Theatre
Play: The Invisible Hand
Playwright: Ayad Akhtar
Director: Indhu Rubasingham

Review by Arani Yogadeva

The dog eat dog environment of a Wall Street trading floor is transplanted to a rural Pakistani prison cell in Tricycle Theatre’s production of Pulitzer award-winning writer Ayad Akhtar’s latest play The Invisible Hand.

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Image credit: Mido Diez

Ebook: Starstruck
Author: Rajeev Balasubramanyam
Publisher: The Pigeonhole
Price: £2.99

Review by Catrina Walters

The aptly titled Starstruck leaves you reflective of celebrity culture, fame and fandom, and how ordinary people interact with these stars. In our celebrity-mad, social media driven society, Starstruck deliciously interweaves stories connecting key characters through 10 short stories.

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Seven tips on writing African sci-fi

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In the third and final part of our African sci-fi series, Tosin Coker offers seven tips on writing in the genre and takes no prisoners with her advice, from making characters of colour reflect their cultural heritage to doing your research or risk alienating your readers.

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Interview with Kristina Kay Robinson

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Kristina Kay Robinson is a writer and visual artist from New Orleans, and the co-editor of Mixed Company, a collective of five women writers and one female visual artist.  Robinson’s work has appeared in Guernica, The Nation and Xavier Review, and she was a guest speaker at the recent festival Internazionale a Ferrara in Northern Italy, participating on the ‘broken dream’ in the US panel, alongside Isabel Wilkerson and award-winning journalist and writer Gary Younge.

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After Independence

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A war of words: Stefan Adegbola (Charles )and Beatriz Romilly (Chipo). Photo: Richard Lakos

Theatre: Arcola Theatre
Play: After Independence
Playwright: May Sumbwanyambe
Director: George Turvey

Review by Joy Francis

After Independence, May Sumbwanyambe’s riveting, intelligent yet flawed full length debut, is set in Zimbabwe in 1998 when Robert Mugabe’s controversial policy of repossessing land from white farmers for the native population was introduced.

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Clybourne Park

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Home sweet home?: Ben Deery, Rebecca Oldfield, William Troughton, Wole Sawyerr and Gloria Onitiri. Photo: Robert Day

Theatre: Richmond Theatre
Play: Clybourne Park
Playwright: Bruce Norris
Director: Daniel Buckroyd

Review by Arani Yogadeva

Clybourne Park, which explores the intersection of race, class and the ironies of proprietary gentrification, was a theatrical hit for its American writer Bruce Norris back in 2010. Starting its UK life at the Royal Court Theatre, it secured a West-End transfer and won an Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Best Play Awards that same year.

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Interview with May Sumbwanyambe 

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May Sumbwanyambe was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, a year after his parents immigrated to the UK from Zambia. Despite being set for a career in law, watching Roy Williams’ play Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads set him on a different path as a writer. Now 30, Sumbwanyambe has toiled hard to earn his stripes, with glowing results.

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The House of In Between

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Fierce loyalty: (l-r) Akash Heer, Lucie Shorthouse, Ashraf Ejjbair, Shalini Peiris and Gary Wood. Photo: Robert Day

Theatre: Theatre Royal Stratford East
Play: The House of In Between
Playwright: Sevan K. Greene
Director: Pooja Ghai

Review by Snehal Amembal

The House of In Between transports you to the by-lanes of Patna, Eastern India, and introduces us to the world of the Hijra community. Hijras or chakkas, as they are commonly known, are India’s third gender who only gained legal recognition in 2014.

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Chronicles of Zauba’ah

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Book: Chronicles of Zauba’ah
Author: Tosin Coker
Publisher: N9neformation
Price: £12.99

Review by Ronke Lawal

Zauba’ah is a N9nth Degree Warrior Scientist of galactic accolade who has been charged with the mission of incarnating into the form of an adolescent girl to pass judgement on the human race.

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