Michael Rosen talls the incredible story of Émile Zola’s escape to London in the aftermath of the scandalous Dreyfus Affair. It is the evening of 18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Émile Zola is on the run. His crime? Taking on the highest powers in the land with his open letter ‘J’accuse’ and losing. Forced to leave Paris, with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. This is the little-known story of his time in exile.
Rosen has traced Zola’s footsteps from the Gare du Nord to London, examining the significance of this year. The Disappearance of Émile Zola offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, the politics and the work of the great writer. He will be in conversation with author, Erica Wagner.
Erica Wagner is a New Statesman contributing writer and a judge of the 2014 Man Booker Prize. A former literary editor of the Times, her books include Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of “Birthday Letters” and Seizure.
Michael Rosen MA, PhD, is a poet, broadcaster, former Children’s Laureate and a recipient of one of France’s top honours: Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
His book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt has sold over 8,000,000 copies. He has presented Radio 4’s Word of Mouth since 1996 and his programme, ‘Zola in Norwood’, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2015. He is Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.
The book will be available to buy on the night at a discounted price of £15 courtesy of Newham Bookshop which can be signed by Michael on the night.