Past Events

Past EventsSunday, February 26

Simon Mawer and Natasha Walter: Literary Espionage

Simon Mawer
Natasha Walter
Chair: Barry Forshaw

This event took place on Sunday 26 February 2017. To watch a video of this event, click here.

Sweeping and exhilarating, brimming with passion and betrayal, the new works of two well-known writers are compelling page-turners. In her debut novel, A Quiet Life, feminist activist Natasha Walter, author of the iconic Living Dolls, tells a warm-blooded story of Cold War duplicity and deception. In Tightrope, bestselling, prize-winning author Simon Mawer continues the romantic and political exploits of Marian Sutro, protagonist of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, in a simmering tale of post-war intrigue.

Experience the event as it happened:


Simon Mawer is the author of ten novels and two non-fiction works. Among the novels are Mendel’s Dwarf, The Gospel of Judas and The Fall. In 2009 The Glass Room was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was followed by The Girl Who Fell From The Sky and its sequel Tightrope, winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, 2016. 

Natasha Walter has worked as a journalist, columnist and reviewer for Vogue, the Guardian, the Observer and the Independent, has judged the Booker Prize, and is the founder of the charity Women for Refugee Women. She is the author of non-fiction The New Feminism and Living Dolls and A Quiet Life is her first novel.

Barry Forshaw is one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction and film. His books include Nordic Noir, Sex and Film, Brit Noir and The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction. Other work includes Death in a Cold Climate, British Gothic Cinema, Euro Noir and the Keating Award-winning British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, along with books on Italian cinema, Stieg Larsson and H.G. Wells. He writes for various national newspapers, edits Crime Time (, and is a regular broadcaster and panellist. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, and talks at City University and the British Library on the history of crime fiction. 

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