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Charles Dickens. Walt Disney. The Romantic poets. These renowned artists and entertainers were all accused of being “over-sentimental”. But is our own age topping them all – with its culture of grief memoirs, gushing obituaries and feel-good fiction? Three Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature take a hard look at whether contemporary culture has “gone soft”.
Lisa Appignanesi is the author of books including Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love; Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors; All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion and Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness. She is Chair of the Royal Society of Literature Council.
Irenosen Okojie is author of a novel Butterfly Fish and a short story collection Speak Gigantular – surreal tales of love and loneliness. She has written for The New York Times, The Observer, and The Huffington Post and is currently running a writing workshop at London’s South Bank.
Rachel Hewitt’s books include A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind and Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, where she is also Deputy Director of the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts.
Chaired by Rana Mitter – Professor of History at the University of Oxford where he is director of the China Centre. A Fellow of the British Academy, he has written books including China’s War with Japan 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival. He is a regular presenter of radio documentaries, among them BBC Radio 4’s Chinese Characters and BBC Radio 3’s Japan’s Never-Ending War, and Radio 3’s Arts and Ideas programme Free Thinking.
For your information…
- Phase one tickets will be available from 12noon on Friday 15 February, with phase two tickets available from 12noon on Friday 1 March.
- Tickets are strictly limited to four per person.
- To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
- Please take your seats 10 minutes prior to the event start time otherwise you may lose your place.
Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival
Welcome to the Free Thinking Festival from BBC Radio 3. All weekend here at Sage Gateshead we’re gathering together a throng of talented individuals to wrestle, debate and celebrate the theme of this year’s festival: Emotion. Whether it’s the angry turn in contemporary politics,...