Jenn Ashworth and Lee Rourke at Blackwell’s

Part of our Literature guide

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Author Jenn Ashworth
Author Jenn Ashworth.

An evening with Lee Rourke and Jenn Ashworth at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester, 29 October 2019, 7:00 pm–8:30 pm, free entry - Find Out More

One of Creative Tourist’s favourite authors Jenn Ashworth is back with a much-anticipated work of creative non-fiction, Notes Made While Falling. She will be joined at this special evening by Lee Rourke, launching his own most recent title Glitch, which has been garnering rave reviews in the likes of the Guardian. Both authors will be chatting to each other about their work and answering questions from Richard V Hirst, editor of Joy Division-inspired anthology We Were Strangers.

Richard and Jenn (along with Emma Jane Unsworth, of Animals fame) have produced collaborative work as publishing collective Curious Tales, including three illustrated anthologies and “an enormous interactive novel in the shape of Preston Bus Station”, and the pair wrote The Night Visitors together, a horror novella out with Northern Alliance’s Dead Ink Books, so perfect for Halloween.

A graduate of the Centre for New Writing at the University where Blackwell’s has its new flagship store, Jenn now teaches at Lancaster University, where she is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2011, she was named as one of the UK’s 12 best new writers by the BBC The Culture Show. Jenn has four novels to her name – 2009’s Betty Trask Award-winning first novel, A Kind Of Intimacy, 2011’s Cold Light, 2013’s The Friday Gospels and 2016’s Fell – and Notes Made While Falling is her first collection of essays.

One of Creative Tourist’s favourite authors Jenn Ashworth is back with a much-anticipated work of creative non-fiction, Notes Made While Falling… She will be joined at this special evening by Lee Rourke, launching his own most recent title Glitch

Notes Made While Falling is described thus: “both a genre-bending memoir and a cultural study of traumatised and sickened selves in fiction and film. It offers a fresh, visceral, and idiosyncratic perspective on creativity, spirituality, illness, and the limits of fiction itself. At its heart is a story of a disastrously traumatic childbirth, its long aftermath, and the out-of-time roots of both trauma and creativity in an extraordinary childhood.

“Moving from fairgrounds to Agatha Christie, from literary festivals to neuroscience and the Bible, from Chernobyl to King Lear, Ashworth takes us on a fantastic journey through familiar landscapes transformed through unexpected encounters and comic combinations. The everyday provides the ground for the macabre and the absurd, as the narration twists and stretches time. Hovering on the edge of madness, writing, it seems, might keep us sane–or might just allow us to keep on living.”

Lee Rourke is the author of the short story collection Everyday, and the novels The Canal and Vulgar Things. He is contributing editor at 3AM Magazine, and has written regularly for the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, the Independent and the New Statesman. His latest book, Glitch, takes as its starting point a plane trip that experiences unexpected and dramatic cabin decompression, and it is described as “a powerful novel of grief, family, and ideas. It’s a novel about embracing those irregularities – the recurring glitch – that seep into every aspect of life, and seeing the beauty in them.”

You’ll have the chance to ask both Jenn and Lee questions and a book-signing will take place after the readings and chat.

This event is free but do please register your interest in advance.

An evening with Lee Rourke and Jenn Ashworth at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester

29 October 2019, 7:00 pm–8:30 pm
Free entry