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Literature Matters: Breaking Ground


Filed under: Fiction

Val McDermid and Jeanette Winterson reflect on the ways in which crime fiction has developed over the last half century, how what we read shapes the people we are, and whether we should all be listening more closely to writers.

In a 2015 article for The Guardian, Val McDermid, one of the UK’s most celebrated crime writers, wrote: ‘When people lose trust in politicians, they need to find it elsewhere. Maybe, because they trust writers to tell some kind of truth buried in the fictions, we’re being listened to in a way we rarely have before.’

In this event, Val is joined by Jeanette Winterson to reflect on the ways in which crime fiction has developed over the last half century, how what we read shapes the people we are, and whether we should all be listening more closely to writers. Val McDermid has published more than 30 works and has sold over 15 million books worldwide. Her latest psychological thriller Broken Ground, which is the fifth in a series of books featuring DCI Karen Pirie, was published in 2018, the same year in which she was one of the Man Booker Prize judges. Jeanette Winterson is a best-selling, award-winning writer, whose works of fiction and non-fiction include Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, The Gap of Time, The Stone Gods and the seminal, semi-autobiographical novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. She is Professor of New Writing at the University of Manchester.

Recorded on: June 27, 2019
Recorded at: British Library Knowledge Centre
Sponsored by: Royal Literary Fund