Author: Anthony Mandal

I'm Professor of Print and Digital Cultures and Director of the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research at Cardiff University. My research interests include Jane Austen, 19th-century fiction, the gothic, print culture and history of the book, and digital humanities. I have published books and essays on Austen, popular fiction and print culture, and have developed a number of literary databases. I'm currently working on various projects, including an encyclopaedia of gothic publishing during the Romantic period. I'm also one of the General Editors of the New Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson.

BookTalk event, 14 June 2017: Harry Potter—Twenty Years Later

June 2017 marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in the series that was to change the landscape of children’s literature publishing worldwide. To celebrate this anniversary, the final BookTalk of the session is inviting three literature scholars to explore the phenomenal growth and global impact of the series in the years since the release of The Philosopher’s Stone.

BookTalk event, 6 Mar 2017: Meet the Author—Laura Powell

theunforgottenJoin us for a special ‘Meet the Author’ BookTalk that welcomes Cardiff-born writer, Laura Powell, who will be in conversation with Dr Sophie Coulombeau about her debut novel The Unforgotten (2016), described as ‘a clever first book by a remarkable new voice’ (Sogo Magazine). As well as giving selected readings from the novel, Laura will discuss her inspiration for and the creative process behind The Unforgotten, which blends a coming-of-age drama with a multifaceted crime mystery. The novel was selected as one of Sainsbury’s Summer Book Club for 2016 and longlisted for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize.

Here’s a description of The Unforgotten from the publisher’s website:

Betty has a secret. One she must keep forever.

Summer, 1956. Fifteen year old Betty Broadbent has never left the Cornish fishing village of St Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the Hotel Eden, the boarding house run by her erratic mother. But when a string of brutal murders brings London’s press flooding into the village, Betty’s world changes. She is instantly transfixed by one of the reporters, the mysterious and aloof Mr Gallagher.

An unlikely friendship blossoms between Betty and Mr Gallagher. But as their bond deepens, and they become entangled with the murders, each is forced to make a devastating choice – one that will change their lives forever. Fifty years later, the devastating consequences of Betty and Gallagher’s secrets finally unravel.

Split between 1956 and present day, The Unforgotten is a stunning debut novel. With her skilfully drawn characters and evocative language, Laura Powell is an exciting new voice.

What reviewers have said about The Unforgotten:

  • ‘Forbidden love. A serial killer on the loose. A huge moral dilemma… Bid your to-do list goodbye because you’re not going to be able to put it down.’ (Stella MagazineSunday Telegraph)
  • ‘Assured and intriguing … with a slight Broadchurch feel.’ (Sunday Herald)
  • ‘An eerie and sorrowful tale, beautifully-told: a hugely impressive debut.’ (Joanna Kavenna, novelist)
  • ‘Gripping from the first page, this is a remarkable debut. I highly recommend it.’ (Katie Fforde, novelist)

The main event (7pm) will be preceded by a reception with tea, coffee and biscuits at 6.30pm in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Maindy Road, Cardiff CF24 4HQ.

All welcome! Book your free tickets via Eventbrite by clicking here.

About the author

laura-powellLaura Powell is a Commissioning Editor at the Daily Telegraph. She has worked as a Features Writer at the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, and as Deputy Editor of Economia, the UK’s largest monthly business magazine. Laura grew up in Cardiff and studied at Warwick University. She later completed an MA at Goldsmiths, University of London, for which she was granted a Scott Trust Bursary from the Guardian Media Group. Several of her poems and short stories have been published in small literary magazines and anthologies, and she was awarded a New Writer’s Bursary from Literature Wales in 2013. She has also written features and interviews for the Guardian, the Evening Standard, and various women’s magazines. She lives in London. You can find out more about Laura on www.laurajaynepowell.com and follow her on Twitter.

BookTalk event, 16 Nov 2016: Meet the Author—Cathy Rentzenbrink

Our second 2016/17 event is a special BookTalk in collaboration with the Paristamen CIO funder-initiative on death and dying, as part of the Being Human festival. We welcome acclaimed writer, Cathy Rentzenbrink, for a ‘Meet the Author’ session in conversation with Jenny Kitzinger about love and loss and her remarkable memoir, The Last Act of Love, which was both a Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for The Wellcome Trust Prize.