I love living in South London, it’s steeped in history and there are stories everywhere. Some stories are waiting for you, some you have to seek out…Last Tuesday night I stepped out to enjoy a particularly lovely evening of readings and writerly chat at the bright, beautiful Camberwell Library with local authors, Stella Duffy and Anna Mazzola. Both have written new novels inspired by real events from South London's past. The event was well attended and everyone had lots of questions after the readings for the writers.
Stella gave a vibrant reading from, London Lies Beneath, her fourteenth novel. Watching her felt like a masterclass on how to deliver a reading. A playwright and prolific short story writer, Stella touched on how the novel, set in Walworth in 1912, had tried to take on different forms during the writing process before consolidating into a novel.
Equally inspiring, Anna’s debut novel, The Unseeing, was written whilst bringing up a young family and juggling a career as a criminal justice solicitor. We were all entranced by the gruesome background behind her story, set in 1837. Anna’s forensic eye for local history and colour shone a light on old Camberwell.
There was plenty of time for Q & A and chat before the authors were presented with a gift of chocolates which they shared with everyone. I trotted home across the newly revamped Green, chomping on a Snickers, with two new stories, signed by the authors, which I'm looking forward to reading. With thanks to Camberwell Library, Stella Duffy and Anna Mazola.