Events

Coming up:
25/8/22 An Evening with Hayden Thorpe
31/10/22 – Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm

View past events


25/8/22, 7pm
An Evening with Hayden Thorpe

To celebrate the launch of the Full Moon Chronicles Zine, join Hayden Thorpe in the bookshop for an acoustic set alongside readings from the new Full Moon Chronicles Zine!

The Full Moon Chronicles Zine is a collection of Hayden’s essays written over the past few years, bringing them together as a physical artefact for the first time.

‘The competition for space in the tightly bound medium of song means that words are often leftover, unspoken, like good fruit going uneaten. Full Moon Chronicles Zine is made from the spilling over of that abundance. It’s a collection of written pieces and photographs that came about through various commissions or self-determined curiosities during the time I was making and promoting Moondust For My Diamond. The launch event will involve words and music – I’ll be doing an acoustic performance as well as giving a reading. I’d love you to join me for this special evening.’ – Hayden Thorpe


31/10/22, 7pm
Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm

Johanne Lykke Holm in conversation with Daisy Hildyard

Powerfully inventive and atmospheric, Strega (Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel) is a modern gothic story of nine young women on the cusp of inheriting society’s submission to violence, and the age-long myths that uphold it.

A monument to long-dead maids and their shrouded knowledge, Johanne Lykke Holm’s luminescent and jagged prose, delivered in Saskia Vogel’s incisive translation, resonates like a spell that keeps exerting its powers long after reading.

To celebrate the publication of Saskia Vogel’s English language translation of Johanne Lykke Holm’s truly astounding Strega this November, join us in the bookshop on 31st October where the author will be in conversation with Daisy Hildyard.

‘Strega is the kind of book Lolita would write if she wrote like Thomas Mann. This book is sprawling with heart-shaped mirrors in wet grass, peach-coloured bedding, neon lights, knives.’ – Olga Ravn, author of The Employees.

JOHANNE LYKKE HOLM (b. 1987) is an author and translator. Nominated for both the Nordic Council Literature Prize and the European Union Prize for Literature, she is establishing herself among the most promising up-and-coming literary authors in Sweden. She has also translated Yahya Hassan, Josefine Klougart, and Hiromi Itō into Swedish.
Daisy Hildyard’s first novel, Hunters in the Snow, received the Somerset Maugham Award and a ‘5 under 35’ honorarium at the USA National Book Awards. Her essay The Second Body, a brilliantly lucid account of the dissolving boundaries between all life on earth, was published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2017. She lives with her family in North Yorkshire, where she was born.


Past Events

21/07/22, 7pm
The Coward – Jarred McGinnis

To celebrate the paperback publication of his debut novel, The Coward, Jarred McGinnis returns to East London to talk at the bookshop. Published in paperback on 7th July, The Coward is a compelling and darkly humorous exploration of what it means to come to terms with a broken body, rebuild a broken relationship and find love when it seems like there is no hope.


14/07/22, 7pm
The Tree People – Sanchita Islam

Millions of years ago, the Tree World was tended and nurtured by the Tree People, until one day, two dragons decided to destroy this glorious land. Who is going to win this fight to save the trees…?

Inspired by the climate crisis, The Tree People is Sanchita Islam’s first children’s book. Join us in the bookshop for the launch of this limited edition, hand-painted book – a title that will appeal to adults and children alike!

Sanchita is the author of eleven books, alongside being a filmmaker and artist. She has been running Pigment Explosion, a non-profit arts organisation, since 1999.


04/07/2022
Cut Short – Ciaran Thapar
Ciaran Thapar in conversation with Francisco Garcia

Join authors Ciaran Thapar and Francisco Garcia as they discuss Ciaran’s book Cut Short: Why we’re failing our youth — and how to fix it, which is published in paperback on 30th June. Described as “devastating” by Candice Carty-Williams and “inspiring” by Ed Miliband, Cut Short is a story about Ciaran’s time as a youth worker in south London, zooming in on a cast of heroic characters at the sharp end of austerity.


19/05/2022
Reward System
Jem Calder
Jem Calder in conversation with Nicole Flattery

Join us at the bookshop for an evening with Jem Calder and Nicole Flattery as they discuss Jem’s debut collection, Reward System.

For fans of Jenny Offill and Patricia Lockwood, audacious fictions of a generation wondering: what now? Reward System is a set of ultra-contemporary and electrifyingly fresh stories, of a generation meshed in Zooms and lockdowns, loneliness and love.

‘An exhilarating and beautiful book by an extraordinarily gifted writer. Reading these stories, I found myself thinking newly and differently about contemporary life’ – Sally Rooney
‘A crushing and clear-sighted portrayal of people dodging the alienation of work, money and life’s digital shorelines, told through short scenes so brilliantly observed I felt the reality of a generation in every detail’ – Holly Pester

Jem Calder was born in Cambridge, and lives and works in London. His fiction has been published in The Stinging Fly and Granta. Reward System is his first book.
Nicole Flattery’s work has been published in the Stinging Fly, the White Review, the Dublin Review, BBC Radio 4, the Irish Times, Winter Papers and the 2019 Faber anthology of new Irish writing. Her story ‘Track’ won the 2017 White Review Short Story Prize. She lives in Galway.


11/5/22, 7pm
2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize Announcement 

Join us at the bookshop from 7PM for the prize-giving ceremony for the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize!

The Republic of Consciousness supports, promotes and celebrates small presses in the UK and Ireland; each year the prize rewards the best fiction published by publishers with fewer than 5 full-time employees. You can read more about the prize on their website.

This year’s shortlist:

Daunt Books for Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Melanie Mauthner.

Fitzcarraldo Editions for Dark Neighbourhood by Vanessa Onwuemezi.

Fum D’Estampa Press for The Song of Youth by Montserrat Roig, translated by Tiago Miller.

Peninsula Press for Sterling Karat Gold by Isabel Waidner.

Tilted Axis Press for Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao.


14/4/22, 7pm
If You Were There: Missing People and the Marks They Leave BehindFrancisco Garcia
Francisco Garcia in conversation with Amelia Tait

Join us for an evening with journalist and writer Francisco Garcia and journalist Amelia Tait as they discuss Francisco’s book, If You Were There: Missing People and the Marks They Leave Behind. A powerful, evocative and deeply personal journey into the world of missing people, If You Were There tells the story of Francisco’s search for his missing father.

When Francisco Garcia was just seven years old, his father, Christobal, left his family in the dead of night. Unemployed, addicted to drink and drugs, and adrift in life, Christobal decided he would rather disappear altogether than carry on dealing with the problems in front of him. He has been missing ever since. Twenty years on, Francisco is ready to take up the search for answers. Why did this happen and how could it be possible? Where might his father have gone? And is there any reason to hope for a happy reunion?

Francisco Garcia is a writer and journalist with The Guardian, Financial Times, VICE, New Statesman, Rolling Stone and many others. His first book, If You Were: Missing People and the Marks They Leave Behind, was published by HarperCollins in May 2021. He is currently working on a second non-fiction title for the same publishers, among other projects.

Amelia Tait is a freelance features journalist for The Guardian, The New York Times, New Statesman, Wired and GQ, among others. In 2020, she was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Europe. She is known for writing about the unusual, the unexplainable, and the weird.


6/4/22, 7pm
Dark NeighbourhoodVanessa Onwuemezi
Wilder Winds – Bel Olid
Vanessa Onwuemezi and Bel Olid in conversation with Jorge Gárriz

Join us for an evening with Catalan writer and translator Bel Olid, and writer and poet Vanessa Onwuemezi as they discuss their short story collections, Wilder Winds and Dark Neighbourhood. Bel and Vanessa will be joined by the host, Jorge Gárriz.

Vanessa Onwuemezi is a writer and poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Granta, Prototype, frieze and Five Dials. Her story ‘At the Heart of Things’ won the White Review Short Story Prize 2019. Her short story collection Dark Neighbourhood, was published by Fitzcarraldo in 2021. In Dark Neighbourhood, Vanessa Onwuemezi takes readers on a surreal and haunting journey through a landscape on the edge of time. At the border with another world, a line of people wait for the gates to open; on the floor of a lonely room, a Born Winner runs through his life’s achievements and losses; in a suburban garden, a man witnesses a murder that pushes him out into the community. Struggling to realize the human ideals of love and freedom, the characters of Dark Neighbourhood roam instead the depths of alienation, loss and shame. Dark Neighbourhood was longlisted for the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize.

Bel Olid is a Catalan writer, translator, and teacher of language, literature, translation, and creative writing. They have received several literary prizes, among them the 2010 Documenta Award. Since March 2015 they have been the president of the Associació d’Escriptors en Llengua Catalana. Their book, Wilder Winds, was translated into English by Laura McGloughlin and published by Fum d’Estampa Press in 2022. In Wilder Winds, Bel presents a stunning collection of short stories that draw on notions of individual freedom, abuses of power, ingrained social violence, life on the outskirts of society, and inevitable differences. Alongside these are small acts of kindness capable of changing the world and making it a better place.



25/11/21, 7pm
Things We Do Not Tell The People We LoveHuma Qureshi
Huma Qureshi in conversation with Natasha Lunn

Join us for an evening with award-winning writer Huma Qureshi in conversation with Natasha Lunn, to mark the publication of Huma’s exquisite and moving debut short story collection, Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love.

Each story deals with individual relationships, exploring their intricacies and nuances with tenderness. A daughter asks her mother to shut up, only to shut her up for good; an exhausted wife walks away from the husband who doesn’t understand her; on holiday, lovers no longer understand each other away from home. Stories of mothers and daughters, children lost, unborn, grown up, grown apart, and the dissonance between lovers – Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love exposes the parts of ourselves we rarely reveal. Intertwined within this exquisite collection are themes of loneliness, secrets, family, and displacement, as well as the desire to belong to someone or to some place, and a yearning for love.

Huma Qureshi is an award-winning writer, and a former Observer and Guardian reporter. Her memoir How We Met: A Memoir of Love and Other Misadventures was published in January 2021 by Elliott & Thompson, to critical acclaim, chosen by Stylist as one of 2021’s best non-fiction. She is the winner of the 2020 Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize. She is now writing her first novel, an enchanting story about family, belonging and identity. She lives in London.

Huma will be in conversation with Natasha Lunn. Natasha is the features director at RED magazine and the creator of a popular and acclaimed bimonthly email newsletter, Conversations on Love. She is also the author of the Conversations on Love book. After years of interviewing people about their relationships, Natasha learnt that questions about love are often rooted in three bigger ones: How do we find love? How do we sustain it? And how do we survive when we lose it?


3/11/21, 7pm
2021 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Anthology
Prize ceremony and launch

This year’s anthology is out now!
 Winner Aoife Inman reads her story ‘Earth-Grown Bodies’
Elise Dillsworth (L) announces the winners alongside Prize Project Manager Kate Ellis

Our first event since the pandemic was to launch the 2021 edition of our Short Story Prize Anthology. It was a real joy to have an in-person audience back in the shop and to feel the excitement surrounding this year’s book.

Huge congratulations to Aoife Inman, WINNER of the 2021 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize – and to runners up Danielle Vrublevskis and Katherine Gutierrez!

This year’s anthology is available to buy here.


Short Story Prize 2020

In lieu of our Short Story Prize book launch and prize giving event in 2020, we asked our six short listed writers to record readings for us. You can watch them here:

Chameleon – Rea Dennhardt

Fix – K. Lockwood Jefford

No Phones at the Dinner Table – Jack Houston

Small Differences – Huma Qureshi

To Those Born Later – Kieran Toms

The Closed Door – Alice Haworth-Booth


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