Mad Book Fair Event

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Mad Book Fair Event

The first annual
Mad Book Fair
takes place on World Mental Health Day
Tuesday 10 October 2006
South London Gallery, 65 Peckham Road, London SE5
6.30pm to 9pm
The Fair's organiser, mad author Dolly Sen, says: 'What do Proust, Balzac, Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and Sylvia Plath have in common? They could have all sold their books at the Mad Book Fair. Where would literature be would its mad authors? If you took all the books by mad authors out of the libraries, you'd be left with Catherine Cookson and Jeffery Archer! This is a book fair with a difference. It celebrates mad creativity, and the stories of people touched by madness; it's also an opportunity to educate the public, and break the stigma surrounding one of the most misunderstood and taboo subjects around'.

The Mad Book Fair offers the opportunity to buy and browse books, as well as launching a major poetry competition taking the theme of metaphorical 'lost sheep' as inspiration. The prize will be awarded by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion in the new year. There will also be free book giveaways; eccentric music and performance from, amongst others, Dogfood, a dada-ish motley crew specialising in issues of madness, love, death and silliness; plus an open mic spot for mad poets, art installations and mental health stalls.

The Mad Book Fair also serves as the launch for Dolly Sen's new book, Am I Still Laughing?, the follow up to her acclaimed memoir, The World is Full of Laughter. Her first book started out as a possible suicide note and ended up as a celebration of life. The brutally honest account of a life lived through madness has been an inspiration to readers around the world, and has positively changed many peoples' lives. Since its publication by Chipmunka in 2002, Dolly has published a further three books; taken on performance roles at The Young Vic, the Royal Festival Hall, and around Europe; undertaken a poetry tour; won a poetry award from Andrew Motion; directed two plays and several TV films; and performed spoken word at City Hall and Oxford University. In August this year, Dolly was featured on the Radio 4 programme Between Ourselves debating the reality of living with schizophrenia.

A host of other mad writers will be joining Dolly on the day including Fiona Whelpton, author of The Cycle Path, which documents her horrendous psychosomatic disorder, and various Mad Pride authors.

With grateful thanks to SLAM Charitable Trusts

press enquiries to: Helen Maleed
tel/fax: 020 7732 4624 mobile: 07986 235 855

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