Book Club with Stephen Kelman

Bloomsbury Institute
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Bloomsbury Book Club with Stephen Kelman

Wednesday 7th October

Interview by Erica Wagner

Join us for an evening with Booker and Guardian-shortlisted author Stephen Kelman who will be discussing his highly anticipated second novel Man On Fire with author, journalist and literary judge Erica Wagner.

Man on Fire is the powerful and touching story of John Lock who comes to India to meet his destiny. Fleeing the quiet desperation of his life in England he has come to offer his help to Bibhuti Nayak, a man who has learned to conquer pain, a world record breaker who specialises in feats of extreme endurance and ill-advised masochism. In answering Bibhuti's call for assistance, John hopes to rewrite a brave end to a life poorly lived.

But as they take their leap of faith together, and John is welcomed into Bibhuti's family, and into the colour and chaos of Mumbai he learns more about life, and death, and everything in between than he could ever have bargained for.

Together, Stephen and Erica will talk about the inspiration behind the novel. Join them as they discuss this unforgettable story of faith, forgiveness and second chances. Enjoy drinks with the author and have your book signed, which we will post to you on publication.

‘A glorious, warm, unpredictable story told by two glorious, warm, unpredictable narrators. I loved it’ Roddy Doyle


Stephen Kelman was born in Luton in 1976. Pigeon English, his first novel, was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and he was also shortlisted for the New Writer of the Year Award at the 2011 Galaxy National Book Awards. He lives in St Albans.

Erica Wagner is an author and journalist. A judge of last year's Man Booker Prize, she has also judged the Whitbread Prize, the Forward Prize and the Wellcome Prize. Her published books are Gravity; Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of Birthday Letters; Seizure; and the forthcoming biography of Washington Roebling. A former literary editor of The Times, she is now Consulting Literary Editor for Harper's Bazaar, a Contributing Writer for the New Statesman, and writes for The Economist, Vogue and The New York Times, among other publications.

Ticket Details

Book Club tickets are £20 including a copy of Man On Fire posted to you in advance, or £10 without the book. Season membership costs £80. To join please email

Date: Wednesday 7th October
Time: Drinks from 6pm and talk from 6:30pm to 7.30pm
Place: Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP
Tickets: £20 including a hardback book or £10 without the book

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