Alchemy: Writers on Truth, Lies and Fiction

Reality versus fiction is at the heart of the current literary debate. We live in a world of docu-drama, the ‘real life’ story. Works of art, novels, films, are frequently bolstered by reference to the autobiography of the creator, or to underlying ‘fact.’ Where does that leave the imagination? And who gets to define the parameters of ‘reality’ and ‘fiction’ anyway? Five writers debate the limits of materialism and realism, in art and literature – and offer a passionate defence of the alchemical imagination in a fact-based world.

Three of the volume's contributors - Joanna Kavenna, Benjamin Markovits and Anakana Schofield - will be at the shop on 31 August to discuss the relationship between truth and fiction in an event chaired by regular LRB reviewer Theo Tait.

Blog posts, bestseller lists, reading guides and updates from the collective staff of the London Review Bookshop.

Speaking as a single entity isn't always straightforward; each of our booksellers takes pride in their eclectic reading tastes, their specific areas of expertise and their personal literary foibles. We've had some vehement disagreements about Dickens and nobody can agree on who should have won the Booker Prize. But ...

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