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Fable, Folklore, Fiction


Filed under: Fiction

Joanne Harris, Fiona Mozley, Irenosen Okojie and Janina Ramirez discuss how myth, legend, fable and folklore have influenced their work, and how great works of literature from the roots of our cultures can be reimagined for the modern reader.

Inspired by the British Library’s landmark Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition, four writers discuss how myth, legend, fable and folklore have influenced their work, and how great works of literature from the roots of our cultures can be reimagined for the modern reader. Joanne Harris’ 18 novels include the modern-day fairy tale Chocolat, made into an Oscar-nominated film, and three novels – Runemarks, Runelight and The Gospel of Loki – inspired by Norse mythology. Fiona Mozley’s novel Elmet takes its title from the Celtic kingdom that once covered Yorkshire, referred to by Bede as ‘silva Elmete’ or the ‘Forest of Elmet’. The novel combines myth and parable with the modern story of a family trying to live ‘off the grid’. Irenosen Okojie’s novel Butterfly Fish and short story collection Speak Gigantular weave together myth and fairy tale to create modern day fables, influenced by African and British mythology and folklore. Their conversation will be chaired by historian, broadcaster and author Janina Ramirez, whose books include the children’s Viking mystery novel Riddle of the Runes.

Recorded on: January 22, 2019
Recorded at: British Library Knowledge Centre


Related RSL Fellows

Irenosen Okojie 2018