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Penning the Past: When History Meets Fiction

24 Friday 3 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

“You have to absolutely pack your head with information… then there comes a point at which you shut all the books and let your imagination take over.” – Tanya Landman

Three authors with very different approaches to writing about history discuss how they bring the past to life – and why it is so important not only to learn the facts of history, but to empathise with people of the past.

In Leila Aboulela’s The Kindness of Enemies, the action moves between contemporary Scotland, 20th century Sudan and the Caucasus mountains in the 19th century, where Imam Shamil defends his people from Tsarist Russia.

Tanya Landman’s Hell and High Water stars a mixed-race boy in 18th century Devon, while the Carnegie-winning Buffalo Soldier, inspired by a true story, pits a freed slave serving in the US Army against Apache warriors in a shameful episode from American history.

Simon Scarrow is most famous for his Eagle series, in which legionaries Cato and Macro travel the world from Britannia to Syria to the corrupt city of Rome itself – in Invictus, they travel to rebellious Spain to quell an uprising.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Penning the Past: When History Meets Fiction

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