The muesli-munchers’ paradise of Stoke Newington is the ideal location for a book festival, but this annual read-em-up isn’t just for hipsters and meeja darlings. Covering everything from science to squatting, from drinking to diversity, this year’s lineup features a fistful of literary heavy-hitters – Will Self, Fay Weldon – alongside a sprawling array of multi-talented creative oddballs from Tracey Thorn to Michael Rosen to Mark Thomas. Here are our top picks.
Dystopias and Utopias
As ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ becomes the latest dystopian vision to batter the box office, some of us are left wondering: what happened to positivity? For this panel discussion, four leading sci-fi writers and thinkers will discuss why the apocalypse is in vogue, and why no one’s bothering to look on the bright side. Among the speakers will be the current poster boy for cool, challenging sci-fi, Lavie Tidhar, and the award-winning tech-head behind ‘The Quiet War’ series, Paul McAuley. Abney Public Hall. Sat Jun 6, 3pm. £5.
The Unitarian Chapel in Newington Green is one of London’s oldest centres of political radicalism, its ties to feminist thought and action stretching back to Mary Wollstonecraft and beyond. So what better venue for a talk by columnist and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, whose new book ‘Do It Like a Woman… and Change the World’ collects stories from activists around the globe – from prostitutes in India to lawyers in Iran – and of course her own successful campaign to have Jane Austen on the £10 note. Newington Green Unitarian Chapel. Sat Jun 6, 7pm. £6.
Will Hutton speaks to Owen Jones
In the aftermath of the election, author, columnist and barricades-manning leftist firebrand Owen Jones might be the hero Britain has been holding out for. At this afternoon discussion he’ll sit down with erstwhile Observer editor Will Hutton, to explore the current political climate and ask what (if anything) can be done to change it. If you’re planning to spend the next five years marching, yelling and raising hell (and money), this could be a great place to get some ideas. Stoke Newington Town Hall. Sun Jun 7, 2pm. £8.
Find out more at stokenewingtonliteraryfestival.com.