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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

Town Hall’s Arts & Culture series elevates the voices of local artists while bringing world-renowned cultural icons to Seattle audiences. The series celebrates music, photography, sculpture, philosophy, heritage, and traditions around the world that enrich our lives.

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Apr 2, 2019

With the U.S. still in the shadow of a potential border wall and the fraught discussions surrounding Brexit still circulating among headlines, journalist and novelist John Lanchester presented us with a satirical and frighteningly timely new novel—The Wall. The story follows Joseph Kavanagh, a Defender on the enormous concrete wall his island nation has built to keep the Others—desperate souls trapped outside the wall amid the rising seas—at bay. We follow him through the cold, loneliness, and fear that arise as he tries to fulfill his duties, we share in the contemplations of the consequences of his post, and we witness the dark part of him that wonders if it might be more interesting if something really did happen to him in the line of duty. Sit in with Lanchester for a compelling reflection on the issues of our time—rising waters, rising fear, rising political division—and a suspenseful story of love, trust, and survival.

John Lanchester is the author of five novels, including the best-selling Debt to Pleasure and Capital, as well as several works of nonfiction, including I.O.U. and How to Speak Money. His books have won the Whitbread First Novel Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books and a regular contributor to The New Yorker.

Listen to an exclusive interview with Town Hall correspondent Katy Sewall and John Lanchester on In The Moment, Episode 29

Recorded live at Seattle University by Town Hall Seattle on March 20, 2019.