Free, Ali Smith Event from Royal Society of Literature


An Eye For Life


Ali Smith, Marion Coutts

Maggie Fergusson

LSE, 5.15pm

Ali Smith’s novel How to be Both, in which the lives of a 15th-century fresco painter and a 21st-century Cambridge schoolgirl mysteriously intertwine, was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize and the Costa Novel Award, and won the £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize. ‘How to be Both brims with palpable joy,’ one reviewer wrote, ‘not only at language, literature and art’s transformative power, but at the messy business of being human.’ Marion Coutts’s fierce, shocking and beautiful memoir, The Iceberg, tracing the two years between her husband Tom Lubbock’s diagnosis with and death from a brain tumour, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Biography Award. Writing in theSunday Telegraph, Diana Athill described it as a book that ‘ought to be read by anyone who ever pauses to consider our mortality.’ Meeting one another for the first time, Ali Smith and Marion Coutts talk about how to look at life slantwise, to weigh words, to come to terms with time, and to reconcile grief and grace.

Booking Information

This event is free and open to all, but a ticket is required. Tickets can be requested via the LSE website.


London School of Economics and Political Science, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3LJ.



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