Max Porter is to read his novel Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber) in its entirety at Islington's Union Chapel later this month.
The one-off streamed event has been organised as part of a fundraiser for the London venue, with ticket proceeds going to the The Margins Projects, the chapel's homelessness charity.
The event renews Porter's collaboration with Wayward Productions, which produced the stage play adaptation of the novel, directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy, at the Barbican.
Published in 2015, the novel won Porter the Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year, as well as taking the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Fiction and the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize.
The novel's synopsis explains: "Grief is the Thing with Feathers is a bed-time story for grown ups about the universal experience of loss. It is about childhood, parenting, poetry and pain. It is about the infinite wisdom of crows. It is a dark, weird and beautiful book, the perfect book to hear in these times. It is an impassioned blast of literature and love, a celebration of language, and a raging heartbroken song for all of us."
Commenting on the Union Chapel event, Porter said, “In September 2020 the Union Chapel were going to host a project I'd devised called The English Soundwood, a multidisciplinary portrait of the UK today with poets, singers, musicians and novelists. Like so many live events, it was postponed, and like so many venues around the world, the Union Chapel needs support. So we are doing a one-off gig, where I'll read the whole of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, and proceeds will go to the Union Chapel and their extraordinary charity The Margins Project, which supports people facing homelessness. I've never read the whole book before, and I'm honoured to be doing so in this iconic and beautiful venue, for such a good cause. I hope people will join us, virtually, and enjoy being read a story.”
Founder and producer of Wayward Productions Judith Dimant added: “We’re thrilled to renew our collaboration with Max Porter for this very special one-off event streamed live from Union Chapel in aid of the chapel and its Margins Project for the homeless. We’re living in a time of great uncertainty and it is vital we do all we can to support vulnerable people as well as securing the future of such a well-loved venue.”
Porter will read the whole novel on 25th October, with tickets available to purchase online. The event will also be streamed live.