Essex Book Festival, 15 March 2020

I’m delighted to be joining Philip Terry at Firstsite, Colchester on 15 March for readings and conversation at the Essex Book Festival launch of his The Penguin Book of Oulipo, which I reviewed for the Guardian recently.

Here’s the blurb:

The Penguin Book of Oulipo book launch. This is the first collection in English to bring together 100 pieces of “Oulipo” writing. Editor and translator Philip Terry will be joined by novelist Tony White to read and discuss selections from the book, as well as some of their own writing inspired by the group.

I’ll be reading from The Fountain in the Forest, plus one or two gems from Philip’s wonderful anthology.

  • 15 March 2020, 4:00–5:00pm.
  • Essex Book Festival, Studio 1, Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH.
  • Tickets: 27 years and under: £5.00 | Standard: £7.00. Info and bookings.

A yearlong reading of Gertrude Stein

Live from the domestic-underground! Photos from (around the edges of) last Saturday’s group reading/performance of They are all of them themselves and they repeat it and I hear it: a yearlong reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans (1925). With thanks to instigators Irene Revell and Anna Barham for the invitation to participate.


Reviewed: The Penguin Book of Oulipo

My review of Philip Terry’s The Penguin Book of Oulipo is now online at the Guardian. Along with Georges Perec (pictured), Italo Calvino, Harry Mathews et al, the review includes notable mention of novelists Christine Brooke-Rose and Anne Garréta, and of Lauren Elkin and Veronica Esposito’s 2013 The End of Oulipo?


The review appeared in the Guardian’s Review section, Saturday 21 December 2019.



Read Tony White, ‘The Penguin Book of Oulipo review’, on the Guardian site

Buy The Fountain in the Forest direct from publisher Faber and Faber 

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Culture and Climate Change: Scenarios – coming soon


Read Tony White’s 2014 article ‘Wanted: a New Kind of War Artist’

Find out more about the Culture and Climate Change: Scenarios ‘networked artists’ residencies’ project

Find out more about Shackleton’s Man Goes South, Tony White’s novel of climate change and human rights, published by the Science Museum – and download a free PDF

Buy Tony White’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest direct from publisher Faber and Faber 

Sign up to receive news and invites to Tony White’s book launches and events

Knowledge is Power

I had to get a picture of this stunning piece of stained-glass work, which you can find on the first mezzanine landing of the grand stairwell of Twickenham Library. I was visiting to talk about my latest novel The Fountain in the Forest on a panel with fellow authors Emma Curtis and Amanda Robson, hosted by Richmond Libraries’ Cheney Gardner, for Richmond Literature Festival’s Local Author Day.

It was a privilege to speak at this very enjoyable event, and I’m grateful to Richmond Libraries, Richmond Literature Festival, my fellow panelists and the wonderful audience for their hospitality and interest – it was great fun.

‘Knowledge is power’. That’s certainly as true now as it was in 1906, when the library – originally called the Carnegie Library Twickenham – was dedicated by F.W. Allison Esq. J.P., the then Chairman of Council.

During the panel discussion we were each asked how we got started on the road to becoming published authors. In responding I had to speak up for public libraries, because when I was a child – growing up in a household without much money and not many books – the public library in Farnham was where I was introduced to literature, quickly graduating from wonderful children’s story books like The Wombles, Doctor Dolittle and Wurzel Gummidge to the general fiction section where I found authors like Mervyn Peake, Agatha Christie, the Ellery Queen mysteries, as well as yellow-jacketed Gollancz Science Fiction anthologies, Doris Lessing and more. Without that public library, followed by access to arts subjects at secondary school and an arts education (A-level art at Farnham College, a foundation at the then West Surrey College of Art and Design, now University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, and a Fine Art Degree at Sheffield City Polytechnic, now Sheffield Hallam University) I would almost certainly not be an author today, nor have had access to any kind of professional life in the arts.

I’ve spoken about the importance of public libraries in more detail, including when I was interviewed after giving a masterclass as part of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature last year.


Buy The Fountain in the Forest direct from publisher Faber and Faber 

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