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News and olds from the author of Humanly Possible, At the Existentialist Cafe, How to Live, and other books about writers, adventurers and philosophers

Στο καφέ των υπαρξιστών

March 23, 2017


Wonderful to see the Existentialists arriving in the homeland of philosophy: the Greek translation of At the Existentialist Cafe is now out, published by Alexandria.

To go with it, here is an article published in Το Βήμα last weekend.

The Existentialist Paperback

March 5, 2017



Good news: At the Existentialist Cafe is now out in Vintage paperback, published in the UK on 2 March 2017 and available from all reputable booksellers (and perhaps some disreputable ones, too).

A night out in Hamburg

March 5, 2017


Further details are now available for the event at the Literaturhaus in Hamburg on 22 April 2017 – here they are.

Munich soiree

February 23, 2017


cafederexistelntialistenAlso, if you’re in Munich, do come along to: Das Cafe der Existenzialisten – a soiree mit Sarah Bakewell, at the Literaturhaus, Sunday 12 March at 5.00pm.  The conversation will be in English, with readings from the book in German.

Another such evening is coming up in Hamburg on Saturday 22 April – more details to follow soon.

Londoners’ specials

February 23, 2017


Two events coming up in London:

“Existentialism is easy”, at the London School of Economics, Friday 24 February at 6.30pm. I’ll be speaking with Andy Martin, Stella Stanford, and Shahidha Bari about being, nothing, and whatever else comes up.   Entrance is free but should be booked in advance (apologies for the late notice).

“How to Live”, at the South Bank Centre, Saturday 4 March at 1.00pm.  It forms part of the “Belief and Non-Belief” festival, and entrance is by a Saturday or weekend pass.  I’ll be talking with a comedian and a lama: Sofie Hagen and Lelung Rinpoche.


New York Times and other good news

December 6, 2016


A quick round-up of excellent news for At the Existentialist Cafe!

It is one of the New York Times‘ Ten Best Books of the Year for 2016.

It’s also been chosen as a book of the year by Kathryn Hughes, Graeme Macrae Burnet and Julian Baggini in The Guardian, and by Sudhir Hazareesingh in The Times Literary Supplement.  And it is Nigel Warburton’s no.-1 choice in his Five Best Philosophy Books of 2016, on the Five Books site.

Calls for a celebration, I’d say.  Apricot cocktail, anyone?

Existentialisten & esistenzialisti

November 28, 2016


de-existentialisten-dutchMore new translations of the Existentialists have come out: the Dutch De existentialisten, published by Ten Have, and the Italian Al caffè degli esistenzialisti, published by Fazi, both in November 2016. esistenzialisti

These join their fellow Euro-existentialists:  Das Café des Existenzialisten (Beck, Germany, July), and the Spanish En el café de los existencialistas, (Ariel, September).

Others to come soon …

More UK festivalities

September 14, 2016


Some more upcoming UK events for the Existentialist Cafe:

Wigtown Festival, Friday 30 September: talking about the book with Lee Randall. Details and booking here.

Durham Festival, Saturday 8 October: discussing Paris in the 1930s, with Jo Baker.  More here.

Manchester Festival, Saturday 15 October: talking about the book – see here.




August 19, 2016


If you’re at the Edinburgh festival this weekend: I’ll be talking about existentialism and surrealism with James King, biographer of the English surrealist Roland Penrose.  It’s at 11.00 am on Sunday 21 August: read more and book tickets here.


May 29, 2016


If you’re anywhere near the Hay Festival on Monday 30 May, do come along and hear me talk about existentialists with Francine Stock – it’s at 5.30 and you can book here.

And if you’re in York the week after that, I’ll be at the Festival of Ideas on Wednesday 8 June – it’s free and you can reserve a place here.

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