Sun, 30 Apr 2023 16:00 - 17:00

Lit Fest: Silence in the Library, the Revolution (In person & online)

As women across the globe rise up against inequality and oppression, and the adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s The Powerhits our screens, we delve into two more recent novels which similarly flip the patriarchy on its head, dissecting the nature of power and the structures that underpin it and questioning who should hold it and how it is held. Carole Hailey’s The Silence Project and Ayisha Malik’s The Movement both begin with a woman who chooses silence as her means to change the world, both books follow the trajectories of these small rebellions as they build into revolutionary global movements and both ask questions about silence versus noise, idealism versus dogmatism, the collective versus the individual and what really constitutes a better and more equal world. 

Breaking library silence, Carole Hailey and Ayisha Malik come together in conversation along with activist and writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied, whose new book of essays, conversely called Talking About a Revolution, charts the evolution of her social activism, recalling her days as a young revolutionary and encouraging younger generations of activists to decide if it is empowerment they are working towards, or power. 

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese diaspora writer, broadcaster and award-winning social advocate who, across fiction and non-fiction, explores human and power dynamics in politics, culture and technology. A former mechanical engineer, she founded her first organisation, Youth Without Borders, at age 16, leading it for nine years before co-founding two other organisations focused on serving women of colour. Yassmin is a Trustee of the London Library. 

Carole Hailey left her career in law to undertake an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, followed by a PhD in Creative Writing at Swansea University and becoming a London Library Emerging Writer 2020/21. The Silence Project, heavily researched at The London Library, is her first published novel and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award 2020 and highly commended by the judges. 

Ayisha Malik was a publicist at Penguin Random House before becoming a full-time writer. She has authored five novels and contributed to two collections, A Change is Gonna Come and A Match Made in Heaven: British Muslim Women Write About Love and Desire. Her debut novel, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, has been described as ‘the Muslim Bridget Jones’ and her 2019 novel This Green and Pleasant Land won The Diverse Book Awards in 2020. 

This event will be BSL interpreted.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Fondation Jan Michalski

Books by all festival contributors are available to buy from our partner bookshop Hatchards.

N.B. This event will take place in person at The London Library and will be livestreamed. If you are joining us in person, please see our  Event Access and COVID Guidelines before you arrive. Doors (and the bar/cafe) will be open from 10.30am that day. The livestream will begin on YouTube from 4pm and will be available to watch live or at any time after the event, using the same link.  

If you purchase an online ticket, you will be sent a viewing link 24 hours before the event begins. If you do not receive a link, please check your junk mail or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Access all Lit Fest events online with The London Library Lit Fest Online Pass. You may also be interested in Painting Women Writers (In person and online)Lit Fest: Writing Politics into Fiction - Workshop with Marcel Theroux (In person) or Lit Fest: Between Two Fires - Sylvia Pankhurst's lost play (In person & online)

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