My Revolutionary Book

Sunday 30th April
16:00 - 17:30

We all have a book that changes our lives, but for writers it can often inspire their own work and future career. Chaired by Neil Denny, this event brings together writers from across the festival and beyond, to share their life-changing book. Featuring Owen Jones, Caleb Femi, Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Saleem Haddad and Xiaolu Guo.

Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi is the 2016-17 Young People’s Laureate for London. Caleb’s poetry commissions include the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature and The Guardian. As a filmmaker, he has released two documentaries, What Did Love Taste Like In The 70s? and Heartbreak & Grime.

Xiaolu Gao

Xiaolu Guo is a novelist, essayist and filmmaker. She was born in China in 1973 and moved to the UK in 2002. Her novels include A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers and I Am China. In 2013, she was named a Granta’s Best of Young British Novelist Her latest book is Once Upon A Time in the East.

Saleem Haddad

Saleem Haddad was born in Kuwait City to an Iraqi-German mother and a Palestinian-Lebanese father. He has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and other international organisations in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Egypt. His first novel, Guapa, a political and personal coming-of-age story of a young gay man living through the 2011 Arab revolutions was published in 2016.

Owen Jones

Owen Jones is a columnist for the Guardian and the author of Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class and The Establishment – And How They Get Away With It

Ellie Mae O'Hagan

Ellie Mae O'Hagan is an editor at openDemocracy and a freelance journalist writing mainly for the Guardian. She has also written for the New York Times, the Independent, the Times, Vice, Foreign Policy and others.

Neil Denny

Neil Denny is the Interviews Editor of Little Atoms, in which capacity he has interviewed hundreds of people from astronauts to zoologists, hosted numerous live events at science and literary festivals, co-created an art installation about space travel, attempted stand-up comedy, and driven 6,000 miles across America interviewing scientists as part of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travelling fellowship.