Forty years ago, during a scorching heatwave, Rose Tremain’s first novel, Sadler’s Birthday, was accepted for publication. The advance was £350, and it gave her licence to pursue the many stories in her head, and to structure and order them for the page. Since then she has published 14 novels, five collections of short stories, and has worked in radio,television and film. She won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize forSacred Country, which also won the Prix Femina Étranger in France, the Whitbread Prize for Music and Silence and the Orange Prize for The Road Home. In conversation with the RSL’s Literary Director, Maggie Fergusson, Rose talks about her latest novel, The Gustav Sonata, and about why she searches for subjects outside her own experience, why it’s difficult for readers to surrender to short stories, and why, even in a novel, truth is all. The event is introduced by Tim Robertson, Director of the RSL.