Thursday, 9th May 2019
Personal News: A Conversation
11.30 am
Upper Room, Town Hall

Sophie Ratcliffe author of Lost Properties Of Love, her contemporary take on Brief Encounter, talks to Bella Mackie about affairs, grief, and domestic strife… While Bella, author of Jog On, talks to Sophie about how, divorced and struggling with deep rooted mental health problems, she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice-cream.

An extended train journey frames the action in Sophie’s book and she turns to the fictions that have shaped our emotional and romantic landscape: Anna Karenina’s world of steam, commuting down the Northern Line with The Railway Children, and checking out a New York L-train with Anthony Trollope’s forgotten muse, the journalist Kate Field. Part memoir, part imagined biography plus the classified and lost property section of the Times in 1875. Written with unfiltered honesty, Bella’s self-help memoir is a funny, moving and motivational book that will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems – no matter how small and scary those first steps may be.

Sophie Ratcliffe is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall. In 2017 she curated Unsilencing The Library, an exhibition at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Museum. She reviews fiction and criticism in the national press including the Times Literary Supplement. Her first book was On Sympathy.
Bella Mackie is a freelance journalist who has written for the Guardian, Vogue and VICE.

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