Virago is launching a new forum for writers and readers to be held four times a year at Pages Cheshire Street bookshop in London.
The launch event for Virago Speakeasy at Pages Cheshire St will be “On Witches” on 30th October, from 7pm to 9pm, hosted by Virago senior commissioning editor Rose Tomaszewska. Shahrukh Husain, author of The Virago Book of Witches, will be in conversation with Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock, discussing the transgressive place of witches in literature and society, in history and contemporary politics.
January’s event will be Empowering Victims with Joanna Jolly, investigative journalist and author of Red River Girl: A Journey into the Dark Heart of Canada.
In spring there will be an event on Women at War with Sonia Purnell, author of A Woman of No Importance: Virginia Hall, WW2’s Most Dangerous Spy, and later in 2020 a workshop on graphic novel illustration with Eleanor Crewes, author of The Times I Knew I Was Gay alongside activist and artist Alice Skinner.
Including non-Virago authors, discussions, socialising and signings there will also be themed activities and a spotlight on the Virago Modern Classics list.
Tomaszewska said: “The name Speakeasy hints at the style of the night, but also what we want to achieve by challenging ideas out loud. These events will be a great opportunity to set an ongoing conversation about books and feminism – and doing it in an inspiring bookshop alongside friends, with a drink in your hand. For decades Virago has been championing women writers and we’re delighted to launch the Speakeasy to bring authors and readers together.”
Tickets are available on the Pages website.