How a novel evolves, and other stories

Arts and Law
Friday 27th April 2012 (16:00-17:00)
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  • Emma Darwin
  • Author of The Mathematics of Love and A Secret Alchemy
  • Arts Building, Main Lecture Theatre

Emma Darwin

Humans have evolved as narrative creatures, and the novel evolved to make human sense of a newly random world. In this talk, novelist Emma Darwin explores how writing a novel is an evolutionary process too: characters compete to be the fittest to embody a story, but cooperate to make it move forward; authors cooperate on a Festival platform and compete on the bookshop tables; and above all the novel evolves fastest in the liminal area between the researched facts and the creative imagination. Emma will also be reading from her work, and her books will be available for buying and signing.

Dr Emma Darwin read Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, and after working in academic publishing she studied for an MPhil in Writing (Glamorgan); her first novel, The Mathematics of Love, was the result. It was shortlisted for, among others, the Commonwealth Writers’ Best First Book award and the RNA Book of the Year 2006, and has been widely translated. Her bestselling second novel, A Secret Alchemy, was written as part of a PhD in Creative Writing (Goldsmiths) and is also sold around the world. She is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University and will be a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Goldsmiths for 2012/13. She is a great-great granddaughter of Charles and Emma Darwin, and her third novel is in the works. For more information, see 

To book your place at this lecture, please register online [Free of charge, places are limited] 

This lecture has been organised in association with the ‘GRAB’, and is open to all University of Birmingham students and staff.

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