166 Brick Lane


E1 6RU





Every day

020 7247 0216

Forthcoming Events

Past Events

Book Launch: 'New Street Art' by Claude Crommelin


Wednesday June 1st, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


We’re launching the hotly anticipated re-issue of ‘New Street Art’, the must-have book for anyone interested in street art and urban street culture.


Author Claude Crommelin will be in the shop to sign copies as will artist Stik, who wrote the introduction to 'New Street Art'.


Please email to reserve your free seat.





'Children of Las Vegas'


Timothy O'Grady introduced by Gareth Evans, film curator at the Whitechapel Gallery


Sunday, June 19th, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


“People come to Las Vegas to blow off steam and then go. But I’m stuck here. When I see the city lights I think of all the parts they don’t shine on. I think I’m living there, in those parts. The shadows pull you under.”


After a film showing up the road at Close Up, award winning author Timothy O'Grady will come to us at the bookshop to talk about his new book, 'Children of Las Vegas'.


Thirty-seven million people visit Las Vegas every year. It's a city that offers to fulfil all your desires, without any repercussions. Timothy O'Grady asks what happens to the people who have to grow up there?

This book tells the stories of ten children, interspersed with short essays about the city and portraits by highly acclaimed photographer Steve Pyke.


You can read more about the author here, here and here.


Follow us on Twitter for the latest news on this night.


This event is free, but please rsvp to if you'd like to come.











The Literature of the Jewish East End


Monday, June 20th, 7 - 8pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


As part of this year’s Spitalfields Festival, devoted to the theme of immigration, Ken Worpole will be discussing Simon Blumenfeld’s great novel, 'Phineas Kahn', which tells of the travails of three generations of a Jewish family as they escape the pogroms of 19th century Russia, via Vienna, to find safety in London’s East End. He will also be talking about Blumenfeld’s sympathetic re-telling of the story of Dr Barnardo, in the new edition of Blumenfeld’s novel, 'Doctor Of The Lost'.


Tickets £5 and booking essential. Further details:


Book Launch


'Britain Through Muslim Eyes' and 'Writing British Muslims'


Thursday June 9th, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


Join us to celebrate the publication of two books which together explore literary representations by and of Muslims in Britain from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Claire Chambers’ 'Britain Through Muslim Eyes' is a literary history of Muslim travellers’ experiences and impressions of Britain from 1780 until the eve of the publication of Salman Rushdie’s 'The Satanic Verses' in 1988.


Rehana Ahmed’s 'Writing British Muslims' considers 20th and 21st century fiction in the context of the Rushdie affair, 9/11 and 7/7 – events which have pushed British Muslims into the media spotlight. In conversation with Peter Morey, author of 'Framing Muslims', the writers will discuss how literary works have contributed to debates about national identity, multiculturalism, and the place of Muslims in Britain.


Please email to reserve your free seat.



The Blackbird Singularity

by Matt Wilven


Author Reading with Legend Books


7pm, Thursday, 3rd November

at Brick Lane Bookshop


'Masterful...intense and satisfyingly off-beat'

Melissa DeCarlo, author of 'The Art of Crash Landing'


This event is free, but please rsvp to if you'd like to come.

















The Mechanics' Institute Review #13


Author Readings


7pm, Monday 7th November

at Brick Lane Bookshop


The Mechanics’ Institute Review (MIR) is Birkbeck’s annual anthology of short fiction by emerging and established writers. It showcases the best work from Birkbeck’s Creative Writing Programme alongside new stories by well-known authors.


Details to follow.



















The Write Idea Festival


11th-13th November

at The Whitechapel Idea Store


The festival is an integral part of the reading offer of Idea Store, the innovative library, learning and information service created by Tower Hamlets Council.


All the events take place over a single weekend (11-13 November) and are based in one venue, Idea Store Whitechapel .


We'll be supplying books for sale throughout the festival.


Programme details here.




Leila Segal, Miriam Nash and Kayo Chingonyi


7pm, Monday 24th October

at Brick Lane Bookshop


Three writers whose lives have straddled big contrasts in place—from a small island to large city, urban London to rural Cuba, and childhood in Zambia to adulthood in the UK—read from their books and discuss how writing across place has influenced their work.


Leila Segal was born in London, of Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian descent. Breathe: Stories from Cuba is her debut short story collection, and originates in the time she lived in Havana and the Pinar del Río province of Cuba. Leila edited Litro Magazine’s Cuba issue (July 2016), and is director of anti-slavery project Voice of Freedom, a project that enables women who have been trafficked to use text and photography to talk about their lives. @leilasegal


Miriam Nash was born in Inverness and spent her early years on the Isle of Erraid, off the coast of Mull. She lives in London. Her debut pamphlet, Small Change, is published by flipped eye. Her new collection, All the Prayers in the House, is out in June 2017 with Bloodaxe Books. The manuscript won an Eric Gregory Award in 2015 and was runner-up for the Edwin Morgan Award in 2016. @miriamnash


Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987, and moved to the UK in 1993. A poet, DJ and educator, he was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and shortlisted for the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize. His debut pamphlet Some Bright Elegance is published by Salt Publishing. Kayo is co-editor of The Poetry Review (Autumn 2016). His first full-length collection is out with Chatto Books in 2017. @KayoChingonyi


All welcome—free event. As space is limited, please email info@bricklanebookshop to reserve your place.






Book stall at the Faber Social


Tuesday, 8th March, doors 7pm

at St John on Bethnal Green Church


We’re excited to provide the bookstall for this Faber Social event on the ‘The Language of Place’ -- a night of talks and music featuring Will Self, Iain Sinclair, Nina Lyon, live music from The Memory Band, all from the beautiful location of St John on Bethnal Green Church.


Please visit the Faber Social website for more information.

Book Launch and Reading:


'Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too'

By Q S Lam


Friday February 5th, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


'Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too', written under the pseudonym Q S Lam, takes the reader on the artist Sanchita Islam’s journey through the labyrinthine passages of psychosis describing her strategies and struggles to recover from the impact of the mental health condition on everyday life, drawing on her personal experience, using art to keep well."


This event is free, but booking is essential.

Please email to reserve a seat.



Join us for a fun evening with local authors and Guild of Travel Writers members YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA and JAN FUSCOE to discuss




A Journey Through 50 Skylines of the World's Greatest Cities


Wednesday, 27th January, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop




YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA is a writer, editor and researcher. She has worked on numerous design and travel publications including Time Out and Blueprint. Her next book, 'Escape London: Days Out Within Easy Reach of London', will be published by Frances Lincoln in April.


JAN FUSCOE is a feature writer and editor. She has produced architectural walks for Fodor's London guide and edited a number of Time Out publications including 'Italy: Perfect Places'.


Featuring a short quiz testing your skylines knowledge!


This event is free, but booking is essential. Please email to reserve a seat.



The Mechanics' Institute Review #12


25th November 2015, from 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


This latest collection, selected, edited and published by Birkbeck Creative Writing students and alumni, offers more than twenty short stories, a form ideally suited to the distracted temper of our times: portable, flexible, resonant and polished.


Readings from:

Frank Sayi, Kate Ellis, Dave Wakely, Kate Seferian, Simon Townend , Rebecca Rouillard and David Savill


'These stories are vivid, sharp and surprising, which is why I won't be sharing them with my publisher. There's enough competition already.'

Joe Dunthorne.






Launch of 'Duff' by Suzy Norman


Thursday 22nd October, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


Recovering from a near-fatal bout of pneumonia, Duff Boyd plans to win back his estranged wife, Nerys. He suggests a road trip. Their destination is Aberdeen, the city where they fell in love. As they rattle along from Wales to Scotland, Duff’s romantic mission is challenged by the strange characters they encounter. There is also the curious reappearance of a battered white Citroen. Who is driving it and what do they want from Duff?


Suzy Norman lives and works in Bethnal Green.

Influx Press Launch 'Place, Waste, Dissent'


5th December 2015, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


'Having spent three years in the early 1990s occupying properties and protesting in Claremont Road, east London, poet Paul Hawkins maps the run-off, rackets and resistance along the route of the proposed M11 Link Road. Using the voices of Dolly Watson and many others in avant-garde experimental text and lo-fi collage, he explores place, waste and dissent; the stake the Thatcher/Major Tory government was driving into the heart of the UK.'


Readings from:


Paul Hawkins

- Paul Hawkins is a Bristol based poet and author of the new Influx Press title 'Place Waste Dissent'. He co-runs Hesterglock Press and has had two previous books published, 'Claremont Road' & 'Contumacy' (Erbacce)


Sarer Scotthorne

- Sarer co-runs Hesterglock Press and is author of the acclaimed collection 'The Blood House'.


George F

- George F is the author of the acclaimed squatting memoir 'Total Shambles' (Influx Press, 2015).


Lucy Furlong



The event is FREE!! 7pm

Signed books on sale on the night.



7pm, Friday 16th October 2015

meet at Brick Lane Bookshop



Join stand-up tour guide Alan Gilbey for an evening of stories from his Brick Lane Bookshop bestseller East End Backpassages an explorers guide’… and beyond.


After meeting at the bookshop there will be a short guided walk to a mystery destination where Alan and friends will perform work-in-progress extracts from their new project – 365 – in which they intend to create a performance piece on a remarkable event in local history for every day of the year!


Joined by Cerys Hogg on keyboards and Toni Davey on voice and pearly buttons, Alan will preview the first two months of this year long project tonight - and you’ll get to choose which stories you hear!

Alan Gilbey is the real thing, a genuine Eastender who knows his material intimately and an extraordinary performer and writer." Rachel Lichtenstein.


Tickets are free but due to limited spaces advance booking is essential.

Please email or reserve a spece in-store.


There will be a pay bar.


Short Story Club #2

'Cortes and Montezuma' by Donald Barthelme


7pm, Thursday 11th June

at Brick Lane Bookshop.


Each month, short story writers and fans Jarred McGinnis

and Kate Ellis will host a discussion on a published story.


This event is free but if you'd like to take part,

please let us know by emailing

with 'Short Story Club #1' in the subject line.





And Other Stories at Brick Lane Bookshop


'The Alphabet of Birds' by SJ Naudé


7pm, Thursday, 18th June

at Brick Lane Bookshop


Join SJ Naudé and And Other Stories Director Stefan Tobler for a short reading and

a Q&A session.


SJ Naudé’s award-winning short story collection offers fresh perspectives on gay,

expat and artistic subcultures, and tackles the pain of loss head on. Naudé’s stories

go fearlessly and tenderly to the heart of our experiences of desire, love and death.

Book Launch


'Academic Diary' by Les Back


Thursday 5th May, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


To celebrate the publication of his new book, ‘Academic Diary’, Les Back, professor of sociology at Goldsmiths, will be talking higher education with sociologist and broadcaster Laurie Taylor, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’. Is a university education still relevant? What are the forces that threaten it? Should academics ever be allowed near Twitter?


Please email to reserve your free seat.


















'Skinning Out - To Sea' by Mick Hugo, Introduced by Ken Worpole


Thursday, 10th March, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


In the 1960s, when Hoxton-born Mick Hugo ‘skinned out’ to sea he was joining more than 150,000 other British merchant seamen then serving on ships across the world. The Merchant Navy provided a safety valve for a lot of young working class men, enabling them to tear up their past and start again. Yet we have very little idea of what life was like, ‘cabined, cribbed, confined’ at sea for long periods of time amongst strangers, who became by default, in Hugo’s words, ‘your adopted family’.


This warm and lively account of life at sea - just published by Bowline Books - is already receiving great reviews and press acclaim. Mick will be in conversation with the writer Ken Worpole, and will also read from his book.


'Skinning Out provides a rare and affectionate account of life above and below decks, as well as bouts of shore leave mayhem, all described by the writer’s own captivating illustrations.' - Ken Worpole


Read a review here.


This event is free, with a glass of wine, but booking is essential. Please email to reserve a seat.











Open Pen Anthology Launch


Friday, 11th March, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


Join us for the launch of the Open Pen Anthology -- a celebration of five years of Open Pen.


Edited and compiled by Sean Preston, the book contains the fiction of thirteen Open Pen authors, and micro-fiction from twelve more. Introduced by N Quentin Woolf, and with a foreword by Paul Ewen’s Francis Plug.


This event is free, but booking is essential. Please email to reserve a seat.

















Book Launch

‘Secrets of the Sewing Bee’


Thursday, 17th March, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop


Kate Thompson, author of the hugely successful ‘Secrets of the Singer Girls’, will be in the shop again – launching her new novel, ‘Secrets of the Sewing Bee’.


Orphan Flossy Brown arrives at Trout's garment factory in Bethnal Green amidst the uncertainty of the Second World War. In 1940s London, each cobbled street is strewn with ghosts of soldiers past, all struggling to make ends meet. For the women of the East End, their battles are on the home front…


This event is free, but booking is essential. Please email to reserve a seat.







David Rosenberg talks about his latest book, 'Rebel Footprints - A Guide to Uncovering London's Radical History'


7pm, Friday 22nd May

at Brick Lane Bookshop


'You haven't walked the streets of London unless you've understood the secret history of revolt, rebellion and poverty hidden all around you in its bricks and alleyways. Rosenberg takes you there as no other writer has done.' Paul Mason



Short Story Club #1

'The Other Place' by Mary Gaitskill


7pm, Thursday 14th May

at Brick Lane Bookshop.


Each month, short story writers and fans Jarred McGinnis

and Kate Ellis will host a discussion on a published story.


Our first choice is the grim but brilliant 'The Other Place'

by Mary Gaitskill. It's available to listen to on the New Yorker

Fiction podcast (read by Jenifer Egan) and to read

on their website.


This event is free but if you'd like to take part,

please let us know by emailing

with 'Short Story Club #1' in the subject line.

Liane Strauss, Martina Evans and

Birkbeck's BA Poets


7pm, Thurday 23rd April

at Brick Lane Bookshop


To celebrate the recent publication of Liane Strauss' 'All the Ways You Still Remind Me of the Moon',we're hosting an evening of poetry readings.


'Setting aside its shop-worn suite of poetic hallmarks—inconstancy, passivity, femininity, duplicity, flux—this sequence of poems stakes out a new symbolic territory for the moon and offers up a new moon for poetry and for our times.'

London Launch of Issue 3 of Boscombe Revolution


7pm, Thursday February 19th, 2015

at Brick Lane Bookshop


London Launch of Boscombe Revolution Issue 3, a pocket-sized poetry and flash fiction anthology published by Bristol-based indie publisher Hesterglock Press.


This issue's theme is Revolution & Gender.


With poetry readings from Rose Drew, Linda Mannheim, Gary Budden, Kyra Hanson, and Sarer Scotthorne, Paul Hawkins, and Lucy Furlong.





Faber Social at Cecil Sharp House, March 17th


Kim Gordon interviewed by Miranda Sawyer







Celebrating the work of poet Howard Mingham


Tuesday 28th October 2014, 7pm

at Brick Lane Bookshop

Howard Mingham was a revolutionary socialist, a Hackney man, a poet of inspired and dogged lyricism.


We're marking the publication of his collected poems 30 years after his death.


"In these unused canals a flood, derelictions that rattle on the light and call to the body of your unemployed blood."


The book comes with forewords by Ken Worpole and David Kessel and an afterword by Alan Morrison.




The Galley Beggar Press and Brick Lane Bookshop cordially invite you to their


Alternative Booker Prize Party


Tuesday 14th October at 6.30pm


at Brick Lane Bookshop


While the posh folks are noshing at the Guildhall, the real action will be taking place down

the road in the Brick Lane bookshop. Paul Ewen will be talking about his Booker inspired

debut novel, Francis Plug – How To Be A Public Author, with support readings from fellow

Galley Beggar writers Jonathan Gibbs, Heidi James, and Steve Finbow. And when the

official announcement comes from Booker Central, we’ll all raise a glass to the winner.

We aren’t bitter, after all. Not too bitter, anyway. Ahem.


This event is free, but booking is essential, please email to reserve your seat.


“A brilliant send-up of the

whole literary circus”

Claire Armitstead

BBC Radio 4, Open Book


“Twisted genius”

Charlotte Heathcote

The Express


“Clever, insightful,

gloriously funny”

Anna James

The Bookseller




London Book Launch of

Transportation: Islands and Cities


Celebrating new short stories from London and



7pm, Thursday February 12th, 2015

at Brick Lane Bookshop


Readings from Will Ashon, Darren Lee, Kate Ellis

and more TBC.






Toby in the Lane - Book Launch


Everyone has heard of Petticoat Lane and Brick Lane. The streets are synonymous with the markets held there.


Along with the nearby markets in Whitechapel, Bethnal Green and Columbia Road, they have contributed much to the history and culture of London as a city of trade and commerce.


'A Toby in the Lane' reveals the rich fabric of the East End markets, and celebrates the street traders and stalls which call these London institutions home.


This is the story of immigrant communtities and their fight for survival, reflected in sweat and toil. Many of these profiles of traders' lives will entertain - countless tales of scams, tricks and banter may be found inside. Families who have traded throughout the generations on the market offer up a unique insight into layers of history that - up until now - have remained untold.


The story also traces the sometimes complicated relationships between trader and authorities in an often amusing but informative tale of London market life.