10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Assembly Rooms
£10 (excl. fees)
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About the Event

Included in the GuardianFinancial Times and Observer’s picks for 2019, You Will Be Safe Here is an astonishing, shocking and stunning debut from journalist, writer and host of the Literary Salon at London’s Savoy Hotel, Damian Barr. He talks to best selling novelist Patrick Gale (Take Nothing With You) about his novel; set in South Africa as a dual time narrative between 1901 and 2010, it explores legacies of abuse, redemption and the strength of the human spirit.

About the Authors

Damian Barr is an award-winning writer, columnist and salonnière. Maggie & Me, his memoir about coming of age and coming out in Thatcher’s Britain, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week and Sunday Times Memoir of the Year, winning the Paddy Power Political Books ‘Satire’ Award and Stonewall Writer of the Year. Damian writes the Novel Destinations column for High Life and often pops up on Radio 4. Starting at Shoreditch House in 2008 and now based at the Savoy Hotel, his Literary Salon premieres new work from emerging and established writers and guests include David Nicholls, Caitlin Moran and Mary Beard. The Salon has toured to New York, Istanbul, Moscow, Sydney and Auckland with the British Council and is now podcast on British Airways. The Guardian named him ‘one of the most connected men in publishing’. His first novel, You Will Be Safe Here, was pre-empted by Bloomsbury. It has already garnered much acclaim from esteemed writers including Diana Athill, Aminatta Forna and Garth Greenwell and will be published in the US and the UK in April 2018. Alongside his writing and hosting, Damian continues his quest for the perfect martini.

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester before going to Oxford University.  He now lives on a farm near Land’s End. One of this country’s best-loved novelists, his most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition, and the Costa-shortlisted A Place Called Winter. His original BBC television drama, Man In An Orange Shirt, was shown to great acclaim in 2017 as part of the BBC’s Queer Britannia series, leading viewers around the world to discover his novels.


‘Barr has captured the threads of all of human history. You Will Be Safe Here is as unexpected as it is unsettling’ AMINATTA FORMA ON DAMIAN BARR

‘So delighted to be sent a copy of this wonderful wonderful novel. Gale has done it again. Absolutely one of his complete best. So many funny and tender and terrific scenes. The recreation of music, one of the hardest things that can be done, is managed so well. Gale pulls off that Forsterian trick of hovering between social comedy and apocalyptic tragedy without the move appearing artificial or contrived. Just a wonderful wonderful read. Couldn’t bear the sight of the pages on the left thickening up and the pages on the right thinning out as I came to the end… ‘ STEPHEN FRY ON PATRICK GALE