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12 June 2023
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Blackwell's Bookshop Manchester
We’re thrilled to be welcoming Harriet Gibsone and Octavia Bright to Manchester to discuss IS THIS OK? and THIS RAGGED GRACE – two painfully honest and life-affirming new memoirs which explore themes of addiction and mental illness. Harriet and Octavia will be in conversation with Terri White (Coming Undone)
About the books:
Is This Ok? – Harriet Gibsone
Music journalist, self-professed creep and former winner of the coveted ‘Fittest Girl in Year 11’ award, Harriet Gibsone lives in fear of her internet searches being leaked.
Until a diagnosis of early menopause in her late twenties, Harriet spent much of her young life feeding neuroses and insecurities with obsessive internet searching (including compulsive googling of exes, prospective partners, and their exes), and indulging in whirlwind ‘parasocial relationships’ (translation: one-sided affairs with celebrities she has never met).
Suddenly staring down years of IVF, HRT and other invasive medical treatments, her relationship with the internet takes a darker turn, as her online addictions are thrown into sharp relief by the corporeal realities of illness and motherhood.
An outrageously funny, raw and painfully honest account of trying to find connection in the age of the internet, Is This Ok? is the launch of an exciting new comic voice.
This Ragged Grace – Octavia Bright
This Ragged Grace tells the story of Octavia’s journey through recovery from alcohol addiction, and the parallel story of her father’s descent into Alzheimer’s. Looking back over this time, each of the seven chapters explores the feelings and experiences of the corresponding year of her recovery, tracing the shift in emotion and understanding that comes with the deepening connection to this new way of life. Over the course of this seven-year period, life continues to unfold. Paths are abandoned, people fall ill, waters get choppy, seemingly impossible things are navigated without the old fixes.
As Octavia moves between London, the island of Stromboli, New York, Cornwall and Margate, each place offers something new but ultimately always delivers the same message: that wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
About the authors:
Former Guardian culture writer Harriet Gibsone began her career as a runner for MTV, before becoming a music journalist in the 00s, writing for publications such as Q, NME, Time Out and Nylon. She spent eight years as a Guardian staff writer and editor and now has a column for its weekend magazine. Is This OK? is her book.
Octavia Bright is a writer and broadcaster. She co-hosts Literary Friction, the literary podcast and NTS Radio show, with Carrie Plitt. Recommended by the New York Times, Guardian, BBC Culture, Electric Literature, Sunday Times and others, it has run for ten years and has listeners worldwide. She has also presented programmes for BBC R4 including Open Book, and hosts literary events for bookshops, publishers, and festivals – such as Cheltenham Literature Festival and events for The Southbank Centre. Her writing has been published in a number of magazines including the White Review, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Wasafiri, Somesuch Stories, and the Sunday Times, amongst others. She has a PhD from UCL where she wrote about hysteria and desire in Spanish cinema.
Terri White was Editor-in-Chief of Empire magazine and has edited some of the most read titles in the UK and US, including Time Out New York and Shortlist, where she was named Men’s Magazine Editor of the Year. She has also written for the Guardian and The Pool. Her memoir Coming Undone is currently being made into a TV series with Billie Piper.
Doors: 6.30, starts: 6.45
Tickets are £3.00 or free when pre-ordering a copy of either book. IS THIS OK? and THIS RAGGED GRACE will also be available to purchase on the night and both authors will be signing copies after the talk. If you would like a signed copy but cannot make the event, please contact us on 0161 274 3331 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange this for you.
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