Simone de Beauvoir: Where Are We Now? Maya Centre Fundraiser

Simone de Beauvoir: Where Are We Now? Maya Centre Fundraiser
1 Dec 2015 at 06:00 pm
1 Dec 2015 at 08:30 pm
Free Word Centre
Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road,
£35/ £50/ £75/ £100

Recently screened at the Bristol Festival of Ideas to a sell-out audience, The Literary Consultancy is proud to present on behalf of The Maya Centre Imogen Sutton’s prize-winning documentary Daughters of de Beauvoir (BBC/Arts Council 1989) which interweaves the life of feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir with those of the women she influenced – in particular through her seminal book The Second Sex. As well as archive footage of de Beauvoir with Jean-Paul Sartre, the film includes exclusive interviews with writers Kate Millett, Ann Oakley, Angie Pegg and Marge Piercy. Following the screening, Patron of The Maya Centre, Melissa Benn, will chair Imogen Sutton, Ann Oakley, Angie Pegg and Margaret Drabble to discuss what Simone de Beauvoir’s writing means today.

Ticket-donations for this event go directly toward supporting the Maya Centre’s essential work providing long term counselling and psychological support to vulnerable women in Islington. The Maya Centre is running an emergency appeal, so generous donations will be hugely appreciated. For more information, please visit the website.


Tickets can be booked online here, or by calling the Free Word box office on 020 7324 257-.

Meet the Panel

Melissa Benn is a writer, journalist, campaigner and patron of the Maya Centre. Benn’s journalism has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, the Independent,The TimesMarxism Today, the London Review of BooksCosmopolitanPublic Finance and the New Statesman. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian and a columnist and blogger for Public Finance magazine. Benn has written five books, including two novels: Public Lives and One of Us which was shortlisted for Waterstone’s New Writer of the Year award in 2008. Her non-fiction works include Madonna and Child: Towards a New Politics of MotherhoodEducation and Democracy, co-edited with Clyde Chitty and most recently, School Wars: The Battle for Britain’s Education. In 1998, the Guardian included her in a list of Britain’s leading feminist writers.

Margaret Drabble is a novelist, biographer and critic. Her first novel, A Summer Birdcage, was published in 1963. Drabble has gone on to publish eighteen novels, including The Millstone, winner of the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Jerusalem the Golden, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; The Needle’s Eye, winner of the Yorkshire Post Book Award, and The Peppered Moth. Her most recent novel is The Pure Gold Baby. Margaret Drabble is also the author of biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson, and is editor of both the fifth and sixth editions of The Oxford Companion to English Literature. She is a former Chairman of the National Book League, and was awarded the CBE in 1980. She received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1973, and holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Keele, Bradford, Hull, East Anglia and York. In 2008 she was made a DBE.

Ann Oakley is a writer and a sociologist. She has written both novels and many non-fiction books. She is best known for her work on sex and gender, housework, childbirth and feminist social science. Her more recent interests have focused on evidence-based public policy and methodologies of research and evaluation, on the sociology of the body and on biography as a form of life-writing. She is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the UCL Institute of Education, and until January 2005 was Director of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute, where she also headed the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre. In 2011 the British Sociological Association gave her one of their first Lifetime Achievement Awards for her extraordinary contribution to the history of the development of sociology in Britain.

Angie Pegg was born in 1950 and lived in Malawi until moving to England in the mid 1960s. She went to university to study philosophy at the age of 29, and went on to teach English and drama until her retirement three years ago. In 2006 she gained an MA in Creative Writing from UEA, and has written two novels and some poetry. She now runs a regular writing group. Pegg is still proud to call herself a feminist, having been influenced by many great women, including Simone de Beauvoir.

Imogen Sutton is an award-winning film producer and director, whose documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 include Daughters of de Beauvoir (with associated book). Her work in animation includes the best-selling Animator’s Survival Kit, both as book (co-editor) and 16-DVD set (producer/director). She has just produced a new animated short Prologue.