Vanessa Onwuemezi and Shola von Reinhold | 28th October @7pm
Join Vanessa Onwuemezi and Shola von Reinhold in conversation about their books Dark Neighbourhood and LOTE, chaired by Helen Charman.
In her brilliantly inventive debut collection, Vanessa Onwuemezi takes readers on a surreal and haunting journey through a landscape on the edge of time. At the border with another world, a line of people wait for the gates to open; on the floor of a lonely room, a Born Winner runs through his life’s achievements and losses; in a suburban garden, a man witnesses a murder that pushes him out into the community. Struggling to realize the human ideals of love and freedom, the characters of Dark Neighbourhood roam instead the depths of alienation, loss and shame. With a detached eye and hallucinatory vision, they observe the worlds around them as the line between dream and reality dissolves and they themselves begin to fragment. Electrifying and heady, and written with a masterful lyrical precision, Dark Neighbourhood heralds the arrival of a strikingly original new voice in fiction.
Lush and frothy, incisive and witty, Shola Von Reinhold’s decadent queer literary debut immerses readers in the pursuit of aesthetics and beauty, while interrogating the removal and obscurement of Black figures from history.
Solitary Mathilda has long been enamoured with the 'Bright Young Things' of the 20s, and throughout her life, her attempts at reinvention have mirrored their extravagance and artfulness. After discovering a photograph of the forgotten Black modernist poet Hermia Druitt, who ran in the same circles as the Bright Young Things that she adores, Mathilda becomes transfixed and resolves to learn as much as she can about the mysterious figure.
From champagne theft and Black Modernisms, to art sabotage, alchemy and lotus-eating proto-luxury communist cults, Mathilda's journey through modes of aesthetic expression guides her to truth and the convoluted ways it is made and obscured.
Shola von Reinhold was born in Glasgow in 1892. Following a disastrous audition at the Bolshoi Ballet, they lowered their sights and went on to complete a Creative Writing MLitt at the University of Glasgow. LOTE their first novel was published in 2020.
Vanessa Onwuemezi is a writer and poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Granta, Prototype, frieze and Five Dials. Her story ‘At the Heart of Things’ won the White Review Short Story Prize 2019.
HELEN CHARMAN is a writer and academic based in Glasgow. Her first book, MOTHER STATE — a political history of motherhood — is forthcoming from Allen Lane. Her poetry pamphlet DADDY POEM was shortlisted for the 2019 Ivan Juritz Prize; her latest, IN THE PLEASURE DAIRY, was published by Sad Press in 2020. She teaches English Literature at Durham University, and is an editorial director at MAP magazine.
Get your tickets here! Attendees will be required to check in to the venue and wear their masks for the duration of the event. If you're unable to attend but still want to grab signed copies you can pre-order them here and here.