University of Southampton English Department
Novelist and children’s writer Judith Heneghan, who was longlisted for the Guardian’s 2019 “Not the Booker” prize, will be reading from and talking about her Snegurochka, her debut novel set in Kiev, as part of the University of Southampton English department’s Writers in Conversation series.
Snegurochka takes place in Kiev in 1992, where a young mother, Rachel, arrives with her infant to join her journalist husband. As she navigates both this world and the world of being a mother, she reaches into communities her husband overlooks, befriending the apartment caretaker, her husband’s driver, an overfriendly shop owner, yet failing to take in their complicated, intertwining histories. Intelligent, well-written, rich in characters and the haunting setting of Kiev, the novel is slyly political in its exploration of how the West misunderstands other cultures.
Heneghan lived in Kiev during this time, and she will discuss how she drew upon that experience to create the fiction of this novel, as well as how her background in history, and her knowledge about writing for children, influenced the writing of this book. Taking in questions from the audience, the forum is moderated by Carole Burns, a fiction writer, journalist and head of creative writing at the University of Southampton
Writers in Conversation features some of today’s best fiction writers, poets, non-fiction writers and playwrights reading from their work and talking about their writing lifestyle - how characters take shape and where ideas come from. Led by creative writing lecturers at the University of Southampton, the event takes place in Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus Cafe Bar, helping to create an evening that is relaxed, engaging and intelligent, yet informal.
Judith Heneghan’s novel Snegurochka was longlisted for the Guardian's Not the Booker prize. Heneghan grew up in Hampshire and read History at the University of York before living and working in a community for people with learning differences near Dover. Later, after several years as a commissioning editor, she spent time in Kiev, Moscow and Islamabad before settling in Winchester with her four children. She has a doctorate in Creative Arts and has written extensively for young readers. Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester where, for a number of years, she also directed the Winchester Writers’ Festival. Snegurochka (Salt Publishing) is her first novel for adults. She is now working on a second, set in upstate New York.
Tickets: £5 (University of Southampton English students and staff can have a free ticket when using a valid promotional code)