The Book of Birmingham, readings and discussion chaired by MP Jess Phillips in Birmingham
Few cities have undergone such a radical transformation over the last few decades as Birmingham. Culturally and architecturally, it has been in a state of perpetual flux and regeneration, with new communities moving in, then out, and iconic post-war landmarks making way for brighter-coloured, 21st century flourishes. Much like the city itself, the characters in the stories gathered here are often living through moments of profound change, closing in on a personal or societal turning point that carries as much threat as it does promise.
Set against key moments of history – from Malcolm X’s visit to Smethwick in 1965, to the Handsworth riots two decades later, from the demise of the city’s manufacturing in the 70s and 80s, to the on-going tensions between communities in recent years – the stories in The Book of Birmingham celebrate the cultural dynamism that makes this complex, often divided ‘second city’ far more than just the sum of its parts.
Join contributing authors Alan Beard, Malachi McIntosh, C.D. Rose and Sibyl Ruth, with editor Kavita Bhanot, as they read from The Book of Birmingham. Hear stories ranging from a factory worker facing redundancy, to a house party thrown by a group of Birmingham Surrealists.
After the readings, there will be a discussion chaired by Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, around themes central to the anthology such as immigration, race and class in the city, and more broadly about the writing of Birmingham, what the city looks like today and how we might shape its cultural future. This will be followed by a Q&A session.
‘Above all, this anthology strives to give those who have grown up in Birmingham, who have lived or are living in Birmingham, the chance to represent themselves and to push back against stereotypes and derision from without.’ – Kavita Bhanot, editor
We hope you can join us for this special event. Tickets cost £4 and are available online.
You may also like the following events from Waterstones Gower Street: