Marina spoke with Lucy Jakub about the process of writing Inventory of Life Mislaid, her relationship with ritual, Christmas and the ‘in-between’ monsters.
16 December, Howl, a review of ‘The Werewolf in the Ancient World’, by Daniel Ogden
Marina reviewed Daniel Ogden’s book for The New York Review: The author of a new book on werewolves has hunted across the centuries for buried items of lore, ranging from ancient Greek texts to Victorian ghost stories.
9-10 December, ‘Words on the Move: Play, Imagination & Stories in Times of Dislocation and Conflict’, Kunst & velferd Conference, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Marina presented as part of the Kunst & velferd (Art & welfare) conference, speaking about the project Stories in Transit and the collective Giocherenda. The shared approach of both groups combines visual arts, performance, puppetry, and gesture, to communicate stories that are freely invented and embroidered; the emphasis falls on imaginative and collaborative processes. Marina described the story-generating games and methods Stories in Transit has developed, placing them in a cultural context. She also invited the audience to take part in one of these generative processes.
Read more about the conference here.
8 December, ‘Guerber’s The Myths of Greece and Rome filled my head with wild and wonderful images’, The New Statesman
Marina wrote a piece for The New Statesman about The Myths of Greece and Rome, revisiting a book she originally read sixty years ago: the illustrations were almost more indelibly imprinted than the retellings: the frontispiece enthralled me from the moment I opened the book. Read the full review here.
Saturday 4 December, Repair and refuge: The Spirit of Stories, Winter Tales Book Festival, 4-5pm, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh
Marina was in conversation about Inventory of a Life Mislaid and more generally her work on storytelling and sanctuary. Marina addressed questions such as ‘Do imagination and invention have a role in memoir writing? Can life come close to fairy tale – not in relation to the happy ending but to the suffering and the struggle?’ Edinburgh’s Winter Tales festival offers a wide and diverse programme, which took place 3-5th December. The event was free and booking was on eventbrite here.
December 2021, C’era una volta: Piccola storia della fiaba, Italian translation of Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (2014), published by Donzelli Editions and translated by Bianca Lazzaro
Watch Marina speaking about the Italian translation in this interview with Francesca Chiappa (also in Italian!) below:
The translation was warmly reviewed by Giorgio Agnisola in Avvenire, 16 December 2021, p.26: ‘[C’era una volta] è un saggio ampio e articolato di quella forma letteraria che l’autrice stessa definisce una “carta geografica dell’immaginario narrato ed evocato” e dei suoi molteplici significati e delle sue forme, e delle connesse motivazioni, sociologiche e psicologiche, sviluppate con un costant riferimentoo a opere e autori d’ogni tempo.’
Tuesday 30 November, The Flying House of Loreto, The Last Tuesday Society, The Viktor Wynd Museum, 8-9.30pm, online
When the house in Nazareth where the Annunciation took place and Jesus grew up with Mary and Joseph was threatened by unbelievers, angels picked it up and carried it to safety, finally setting it down on a hillside overlooking the Adriatic, in Loreto. The relic of the Flying House of Loreto, inspired one of the most popular pilgrimages in the world until Napoleon sacked its treasury to pay his army. The holy House itself also appeared In Walsingham, Norfolk, and like its Italian counterpart, also became a huge draw and a very very rich cult site, which was laid waste in the Reformation. Marina will tell the story of this holy house and its ‘wondrous flittings’ in relation to ideas about losing home and remaking it, exile and settlement. Book here
Sunday 28 November, Rethinking Women in Fairytales, Yorkshire Festival of Story, 7-8pm, online
Marina, Jessica Tiffin from the University of Cape Town and award winning storyteller, author and activist Laura Simms from New York took part in a panel discussion, asking ‘Is it time women were presented differently in fairytales?’
‘The term fairy tale was coined by the French writer, Countess d’Aulnoy, when she termed her series of works centered on women into the contes de fées (fairy tales). In these stories, women are presented in a variety of roles. These female centred narratives can be interpreted in many ways.
Join this conversation as our panelists consider the gender roles in fairy tales, how these influence society, culture and the patriarchy. They will explore the ways in which women are presented in fairy tales and what they teach girls about being women.’
Learn more here.
Friday 26 November, Inventory of a Life Mislaid, Italian Cultural Institute, London, 6-8pm
Marina was in conversation with Stella Tillyard, Sally Bayley and Charles Burdett about her book Inventory of a Life Mislaid (2021), chaired by Katia Pizzi. This event took place at the Italian Cultural Institute (39 Belgrave Square, Londra SW1X 8NX). Read more about the speakers who joined Marina and the event here.
Thursday 25 November, ‘Thinkers for our time: W.E.B. Du Bois’, British Academy, 4-5pm, online event
Marina has been involved in curating a series of ‘Thinkers for our time’ events at the British Academy, with previous ‘thinkers’ including Charlie Chaplin, Sylvia Pankhurst and Christina Rosetti. This event focuses on the extraordinary life and legacy of polymath W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963). Du Bois stands as one of the most important and influential civil rights activists and intellectuals of the 20th century. As co-founder of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and author of the seminal book The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois’s profound writings and analysis of race and racism continue to shape the way scholars think about these issues today. Speakers include Professor Hakim Adi, Professor Paul Goodwin and Professor Sharon Monteith. Chairing the event is Jonathan Derbyshire. Book to learn more here.
Wednesday 24 November, Hatchards Christmas Customer Evening, 6-8pm
Hatchards hosted their annual evening, inviting a wealth of authors to meet readers, sign books and eat mince pies… Writers joining Marina on the night included Natasha Brown and Ian Collins, among many others. This event took place at Hatchards bookshop (Hatchards Piccadilly, 187 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LE).
Monday 22 November, Cambridge Union, 7.30pm, info here
Marina spoke about identity and belonging at the Cambridge Union. The event consisted of a lecture and Q&A, and welcomed members, anyone within the English faculty, The Isis Magazine, and the Oxford and Cambridge review of books, and was held in the Cambridge Union library.
Saturday 20 November, If Once Upon A Time Starts Now, How Do We Get to Happy Ever After?, Yorkshire Festival of Story, 7-8pm, online
Marina joined fairy tale scholar Professor Jack Zipes and Professor Cristina Bacchilega from the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa to share their collective knowledge of fairy tales and navigate how they may be harnessed to offer a brighter future. Storyteller Sita Brand facilitated this unique event, which was shared online. Book your tickets here.
Thursday 18 November, Suffolk Book League, Ipswich Institute, 7.30pm, tickets here
Marina was interviewed in Ipswich, as part of the Suffolk Book League programme. Previous speakers include Doris Lessing and Hilary Mantel. This event took place in person, at the Ipswich Institute (Tavern St, Ipswich IP1 3AA, UK), with ticket prices ranging from free-£8. Read more here.
Wednesday 17 November, Inventory of a Life Mislaid, Yorkshire Festival of Story, 7-8pm, online
Marina was in a live streamed discussion about her most recent publication, Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir, where she gave a reading and shared images from her childhood. With themes relevant to the current discussions about nationalism and the stories history tells, about remembering and re-imagining the past, this event traverses borders, moves through decades, and unfolds the hopes and struggles of Esmond and Ilia. Find out more here – and have a look at the rest of the event line-up while you are on the festival website!
10 November 2021, Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Illustrated Talk, Bridport Literary Festival, 2.30pm, The Bull Ballroom
As part of the Bridport Literary Festival 2021, Marina was in conversation with Prue Keely discussing Inventory of a Life Mislaid.
‘Archaelogy: Twelve Miniatures‘, by Abdelfattah Kilito, The White Review online, co-translated from the French with Clare Finburgh Delijani
The White Review have published online a set of twelve fables by Abdelfattah Kilito, co-translated by Marina Warner and Clare Finburgh Delijani. This dozen adds to, and is a revision of, five tables originally published with The White Review in 2013. They are all now available to read online.
November 2021, Witchcraft. The Library of Esoterica, order here.
Marina has a piece included in this compendium, the third volume in The Library of Esoterica, a series from TASCHEN books. The book follows the magickal tradition of witchcraft from its ancient roots to its modern incarnations. Through more than 400 artworks, and revelatory essays and interviews with modern practitioners, Witchcraft chronicles a cathartic evolution, from the craft’s emergence in ancient goddess worship to the embrace by today’s diverse witch community.
27 October, 7- 8pm – 100 Days by Gabriel Josipovici: Carcanet Book Launch, Online, £2
Marina Warner hosted the launch, joining Gabriel Josipovici to discuss his new book, 100 Days. The event featured readings and discussion, and audience members had the opportunity to ask their own questions.
‘When in March 2020 the Covid pandemic led the Government to impose a total lockdown Gabriel Josipovici decided that he would respond to a unique situation by writing an essay a day for a hundred days, prefacing each with a diary entry, keeping track of the changing seasons as well as the pandemic. As organising and generating principle for the essays he chose the alphabet, and the result is a stimulating kaleidoscope of topics from Aachen to Zoos, passing by Alexandria, Luciano Berio, Ivy Compton-Burnett, reflections on his own early works The Echo-Chamber and Flow, Langland’s Piers Plowman, the idea of repetition in life and art, and much else.
Josipovici reminds us that he has previously ‘plundered episodes in my life to illustrate the intertwining of memory and forgetting, the desire to remember and the need to forget’, and here he has someone say to him: ‘You don’t seem to be afraid of revealing a great deal about yourself.’ ‘I don’t think I feel it that way,’ he responds. ‘I can “reveal” precisely because it does not seem to be part of me. It seems to belong to someone else, a writer I have lived with, an immigrant I have known.”
25 October, Fahrenheit: ‘Filosofia ovunque’ (‘Philosophy everywhere’), Rai Radio 3
Marina was interviewed on the Italian radio show, Fahrenheit, discussing Fairy Tales and speaking about her book Once Upon A Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (2014), which was translated into Italian this year by Bianca Lazzaro. The Italian translation is called C’era una volta: Piccola storia della fiaba, published by Donzelli editore. Tune in to the programme here – Marina speaks at about an hour and a half in to the show.
19 October, ‘Writers retell Shakespeare’s Tempest to explore colonialism and power’, CBC Radio
Marina spoke about her novel Indigo (1992), a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, on CBC radio show ‘Ideas’. Elizabeth Nunez was also interviewed in this episode, speaking about her novel Prospero’s Daughter (2006). In the episode, Marina discusses how she came to write Indigo: ‘”[It] was written 30 years ago, and it was written in the spirit of a feminist mantra to listen to the voices of those who have been muted by history. It’s like trying to see the action behind the stage behind the facade, which is the received story. And at the time, I was owning up to my forebears’ actions and the obscured legacy of empire building and brutality.” Listen back to the show here.
16 October, Acqui Storia Prize Ceremony, Marina Warner formally awarded as Winner of the 54th Special Lifetime Achievement Award, Acqui Terme, Italy
The 2020 Special Lifetime Achievement Award, established in 2009, was awarded to Marina Warner (due to the emergency crisis she was unable to receive the award last year). The prize was founded in 1968 for remembering the victims of the Acqui Military Division, who died in Kephalonia and Corfu (September 13–26, 1943) fighting against the Nazis. The Acqui Storia Award aims to spread the knowledge of historiographical and popular research at national and international level. From Sunday 10 October to Monday 17 October, the exhibition “Dialoghi” was held in the halls of Palazzo Robellini, in Piazza Levi in Acqui Terme, where a large number of books, archival-documentary, journalistic and iconographic material dating back to the decades of second of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and referring to the Jewish world of Acqui were shown. The ceremony was filmed and is available to watch back online, here.
9 October, Britain’s Forgotten Wars with Tony Robinson, Episode 3, Channel 4 – available to watch on All4
Marina was featured in an episode from Channel 4’s series Britain’s Forgotten Wars, which discussed the Suez Canal crisis: ‘When Egypt’s president nationalised the Suez Canal in 1956, Britain and France planned a clandestine invasion to take back control.’ To watch the episode and more from the series, click here.
23 September, 3.30pm – Chipping Campden Literature Festival, Montrose Suite, Cotswold House Hotel, £8
Marina will be presenting her most recent publication, Inventory of a Life Mislaid as part of the festival based in the ancient town of Chipping Campden, nestled in the tranquil and rolling countryside of the North Cotswolds. More information available here.
July 30, 62nd Yeats International Summer School, Sligo – ‘Speaking the Faery tongue”, Jul 30, 2021 08:00 PM Dublin time, on Zoom
For the first time since its inception, the Yeats International Summer School will be taking place online. Between 29th and 31st of July, a number of seminars and lectures will take place via zoom, including seminars by Philip Coleman, Lucy Collins and Guy Beiner. Marina will give one of the lectures, on July 30th at 8pm Dublin time, via zoom. More information about events and schedules can be found here. Tickets for select events and seminars are available here.
16 July, Mary Magdalene and Her Jar: Fragrant oils, Luxury and Sin, Rua Red Gallery: the Magdalene Series Active Research Programme, watch the talk on YouTube (link below)
11 July, Dancing with Apollo, dance event at Spitalfields Festival (Hall One, Kings Place, London)
With Sara Trickey (violin), Cathy Marston (choreography), Marina Warner (libretto)
A programme of music, dance and commentary centred on Greek myth, ranging from Szymanowski’s impressionistic and exotic vision of characters from ancient Greek myth, to Stravinsky’s sparkling neo-classical interpretation of ancient Greek song forms, to David Matthews’ lyrical version of the story of Venus and Adonis, composed for Sara Trickey. We also have the premiere of a new piece by Festival Curator Edmund Finnis, featuring dancers directed by the acclaimed choreographer, Kim Brandstrup. Marina Warner completes the line-up, shedding light on the meaning and history behind the works.
More information and tickets can be found here.
“Fascinating, all of it.”, according to the Guardian Review – read it here.
3 July, event at Essex Book Festival in Southend, with Sophie Herxheimer
19 June – Sophie Collins, Irenosen Okojie, Mireia Calafell, Anna Gual: Poetising the Tomorrow, Kosmopolis 21
What words do we need for thinking about the future? Are the concepts and ideas of the past of any use or must we create new ones to name another possible world? Where will we find these words that have not yet been spoken? During the Thinking Biennale, the CCCB promoted the project of audiovisual creation A Vocabulary for the Future, which set into dialogue some thirty local and international thinkers, writers, and visual creators so that they could imagine together an alternative, more hospitable future. Marina will give the starting signal for this poetic and audiovisual recital where Collins and Okojie will read their texts by videoconference, accompanied from the CCCB by the poets Mireia Calafell and Anna Gual who will lead the session. More info and tickets can be found here.
18 June – Lana Bastašić, Tatiana Țîbuleac, and Xènia Dyakonova: Writing in Turbulence, Kosmopolis 21
In Kosmopolis, Lana Bastašić and Tatiana Țîbuleac will share the stage for the first time to speak about literature and turbulences. Turbulences because their books are shocking, full of extreme characters and dysfunctional relationships. In this session the audiovisual piece Eunoe, with a text by Marina Warner and images by Alba Cros, will be premiered. This work is part of the project A Vocabulary for the Future. More information and tickets available here.
16 June 2021 – Pavement Prophecies and Papercuts by Sophie Herxheimer, exhibition preview, Bookartbookshop, London, 6pm-8pm
An exhibition of the wonderful papercut illustrations made for Marina’s “Inventory of a Life mislaid. An unreliable memoir” was shown at the Bookartbookshop. Read about Sophie’s process in her “Spilling the Ink” blog post: The exhibition also featured Sophie’s entire deck of 78 prophetic cards INDEX, published by Zimzalla.
10 June 2021 – Under the Rainbow: Voices from Lockdown, TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities)
Under the Rainbow: Voices from Lockdown featured the author James Attlee in discussion with Marina Warner and Professor Pablo Mukherjee (Warwick University). Chaired by Professor Wes Williams, TORCH Director.
More information can be found here. The event can be watched live here.
14 May, 6pm: For Sama: The Political Art of Subtitling. With Wafa Tarnowska. Birkbeck Arts Week
12 May, 6pm: Dream Stones workshop with Sophie Herxheimer, Birkbeck Arts week
Watch back here!
9 May – ‘Artistic Freedom in Europe’, organized by the European Alliance of Academies
The European Alliance of Academies is using the occasion of Europe Day to advocate for the freedom of art. What legal and political opportunities are there to defend it? How can artistic collaboration take place in the digital space? What role does Europe play for artists? Political and artistic possibilities for action will be discussed in collaboration with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and Alliance stakeholders from all over Europe. Marina, alongside a number of representatives and stakeholders from culture and politics in Europe, will give a talk in reference to Artistic Freedom in Europe. The recording will be made available online as of May 9th. More information and links to the recording available here.
5-7 May 2021 – European Humanities Conference, Lisbon
More information available here.
3 May 2021 – Our Friend Julian – Writers defend Julian Assange #WorldPressFreedomDay
‘The main principle of uncovering truth needs to be defended and the rights of prisoners who have not been charged or tried are in urgent need of defence.’ Marina Warner DBE
On May 3rd, World Press Day, eleven distinguished writers, including Marina, were heard in defence of Julian Assange. Assange is still being held in Belmarsh prison, as he awaits an appeal from the US government against Westminster Magistrates Court’s earlier refusal to extradite him. These eleven voices represent the eleven years since WikiLeaks released filmed footage of the killing of Iraqi civilians on a pavement in Baghdad by a US gunship. The event will be introduced by world famous musician Brian Eno and he and Marina Warner will be joined by A.L. Kennedy, Charles Harris, Jan Woolf, Matt Devereaux, Richard Bradbury, Robert Ilson, George Szirtes, Michael Rosen, and actors Zoe Aaronson and Gilles Madan reading Adrian Mitchell’s great poem ‘To Whom it May Concern’.
The full video can be watched here.
29 April 2021 – ‘The Bravery of Carola Rackete’ by Marina, posted on WritersRebel.com
“…people are leaving home because home is no longer habitable,”, in Marina’s new piece, The Bravery of Carola Rackete. In 2019, Carola, an environmental scientist and researcher, broke the law to save forty refugees who faced a dreadful and inhuman choice, that of certain death by either drowning or dehydration. The media storm that followed Carola’s act of bravery and empathy finally brought to the public’s attention the truth that the refugee crisis is inextricably linked to the climate catastrophe.
28 April, 7-8pm – UEA (University of East Anglia) Live: Marina Warner in conversation with Sophie Herxheimer
Marina Warner discussed her family memoir ‘Inventory of a Life Mislaid’ with the book’s illustrator, Sophie Herxheimer. Alison Winch, UEA Live co-director and lecturer in Media Studies at UEA, chaired the event. More information available here. Here is a blog post by Sophie about the event, complete with pictures as a preview.
A lovely write-up of the event, by Melissa Erdem, can be found here.
March 31, 6.30pm – Royal Society of literature event with Amin Maalouf
Read more about this event here.
24 March – LRB Screen at Home Season 3: Messages in a Bottle, featuring Marina Warner on Stanley and His Daughters, 2018
LRB Screen at Home is back for the hopefully finally stretch of lockdown. Over the course of twelve weeks, host Gareth Evans will introduce a special guest in conversation alongside a remarkable documentary drawn from the vast archive of hundreds of films made under the banner of BBC TV’s Arena, the world’s longest-running television arts series. On 24 of March, Marina’s contribution will talk about how Stanley Spencer’s visionary art, his obsession with his work and intense private life wreaked havoc on his family. We follow his daughters’ relationship – fractured, fraught but ultimately loving – as they try to understand and reclaim their father and investigate their family’s emotional archaeology. (Dir. Francis Hanly). More info and tickets for the series are available here.
18th March – 17th April – Marina speaks about The Bird Game
Film and Video Umbrella and the Rothschild Foundation are pleased to announce a month-long online screening of Marianna Simnett’s The Bird Game (2019), accompanied by a new film Confessions of a Crow (2021), where writers Marina Warner, Charlie Fox and James Bridle, artist Lindsey Mendick, and composer Oliver Coates speak eloquently about The Bird Game’s overlapping themes, which range from the insidious impact of new digital technologies to the enduring power of fantasy and mythology, and focus on the hypnotic, addictive and increasingly sleepless hyperactivity of contemporary life.
17th March – Ted Hughes’s Crow at 50: A Seminar
Marina, together with Alice Oswald, Mark Cocker and Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, will be part of a panel discussing Ted Hughes’ Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its publication. In the fifty years since Crow’s publication, poets, sculptors, musicians and environmentalists have been amongst those disturbed and inspired by its mysterious energy, its anger and its comedy. To mark this anniversary, a distinguished panel will be exploring Crow on the page and Crow through the air.
The seminar will take place online on Wednesday, 17th March 2020 at 6pm-8pm (GMT). For more information about the seminar, click here. A video recording of the seminar can be found here.
March 15, 7pm-8.30pm, The Last Tuesday Society, The Viktor Wynd Museum – Marina Warner on Mary Magdalene and her Jar: Fragrant Oils, Luxury and Sin
In a new, fully illustrated zoom lecture Marina Warner uncovered the long associations of balm with the pleasures and solace of the East, which her parents were seeking when they moved to Cairo after the war. Available to watch back here.
13/14 March, Budleigh Salterton Festival – Marina presents Inventory of a Life Mislaid
The event was available to view from 9am on 13th March, viewed until 11pm on 19th March.
12 March, 12pm (Canadian Time) Writers Read presents Marina Warner in conversation with Kate Sterns
Marina will speak with her respondent about her newly published Inventory of a Life Mislaid,
More information here.
11 March, 10-10.45pm – Edward Said’s Thinking on BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking
Marina is taking part in a panel discussion about Said’s ideas, work, life, and legacy, presented by Rana Mitter. Other panellists would include Timothy Brennan at the University of Minnesota, who has written a new biography of Said, and Ahdaf Soueif. More information available here.
11 March, Cambridge Union Debate – The Hype around Shakespeare is Much Ado about Nothing
Shakespeare is widely held to be the greatest literary genius England – and indeed the world – has produced, as well as constituting a fundamental component of the performance and research of English here at Cambridge. Over four centuries since his death, it is important to look back on this legacy and interrogate whether – and why – this should be the case. The debate will be lead between Ben Crystal, an English actor, author, and producer, and Professor Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute in proposition, opposed by Marina Warner and Professor Kiernan Ryan, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge in the debate.
More info can be found here.
9th March 2021, 2pm (GMT): Shubbak Festival, Against Disappearance – second in a series of discussions about cultural heritage and contemporary culture.
The series brings together examples from the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund with examples of contemporary artists who deeply engage with heritage to create new expressions. For the second in the series of Against Disappearance discussions, the different legacies of cultural and commercial exchange will be exchanged. To discuss how some stories are told of migration, trade and power, the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund and Shubbak, London’s festival of contemporary Arab culture, have invited: writer, mythographer and historian Marina Warner, writer and activist Hammour Ziada – whose book The Longing of the Dervish was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction – and writer, editor and festival convenor, Abu Amirah – whose book KasKazi explores the dynamics and inter-connectedness of narratives and cities on the Swahili coast.
More information can be found here. A video recording of the talk can be found here.
March 4 – Inventory of a Life Mislaid published!
Marina’s ‘unreliable memoir’ about her parents in Cairo in the years after World War Two will be be published on World Book Day (March 4) 2021 by William Collins, London. Alongside many photographs, the book is adorned with a series of 80 vignettes by Sophie Herxheimer. Two related essays, Anglo-Egyptian Attitudes and Those Brogues, have been published in the London Review of Books.
March 3 – World Book Day
Marina gave a Ten-Minute talk with the British Academy, which can be listened back here.
4 February, 2021 – ‘Name the Days’: Marina’s essay review of Eliot Weinberger’s Angels and Saints the London review of books
The Article can be seen here.