David Mitchell read from his new novel at a Sceptre Salon storytelling event last night (1st October), which also featured an exclusive extract from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s highly sought-after "Fleabag" book.
More than 100 guests packed into the Phoenix Arts Club in Soho – mentioned in the second line of Mitchell’s new book Utopia Avenue.
Mitchell’s book, announced last week and released on 2nd June 2020, follows the career of 1960s rockers Utopia Avenue, “the strangest British band you've never heard of”. He read an atmospheric section of the book following one of its characters as she walked the streets of Soho.
There was also a surprise reading by editorial director Emma Herman from Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag: The Scriptures, which the audience was urged not to share. Sceptre won an eight-publisher auction earlier this year for the book, which features the complete scripts alongside exclusive material and is out on 12th November.
Abi Daré, the Nigerian author of Sceptre’s lead 2020 debut fiction title, The Girl With the Louding Voice, kicked off the night before an appearance from Simon Parkin, investigative journalist and author of A Game of Birds and Wolves, the untold true story of WW2’s Operation Raspberry, which has been optioned for film by Steven Spielberg.
There were also appearances from Professor Noreena Hertz, global economist and author of The Lonely Century, and Sanne Blauw, econometrician and author of the international non-fiction bestseller The Number Bias.
Carole Welch, publishing director at Sceptre, told the audience: “These books exemplify the kind of fiction and non-fiction we aim to publish – inspired writing and irresistible reading: superbly written books that are as illuminating and thought-provoking as they are captivating, that will stir, move and sometimes shock you. And in ranging from debutants to the mighty David Mitchell, whose first novel we published 20 years ago, they exemplify our aim to nurture our authors over the long-term while always being on the lookout for outstanding new voices from around the world to join them.”