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Why We Tell Stories – and How We Live Them Out

29th October 2017 · 11:00am - 12:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 Why We Tell Stories  – and How We Live Them Out

​Why do we tell stories? And why, most particularly do we tell the same ones over and over again in different forms (Jaws, for instance, is essentially a rewriting of Beowulf).

The answer lies in human psychology and the structure of the brain. Humans are divided beings and stories try to tell us ways we can heal the contradictions within ourselves. In that sense, story telling is a form of psychology – the great novels all carry messages of how we might live our lives in a healthy and balanced way and come to maturity.

Tim Lott will explore the connections between the stories we tell ourselves – the field of therapy – and the stories we consume for entertainment. The two are deeply connected, and Tim Lott will try and lay out some of the ways that they fit together. This produces very useful information both for the writer of fiction and anyone who wants to understand how human beings operate in the world.

In short, we don’t just tell stories for fun. We tell stories to live. This address will explore how story works to keep us sane.

Tim Lott is a novelist, writing teacher and Guardian columnist. His memoir The Scent of Dried Roses is a Penguin Modern Classic, and his first novel, White City Blue – for which is currently writing a sequel – won the Whitbread/Costa first novel award. He has taught writing at the Faber Academy, the UEA, and currently, Guardian Masterclasses. He lives in North West London and has four daughters.


Doors 10.30. Start 11.00

Entry £3, £2 concessions (free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members, who are encouraged to book these tickets in advance via the Book Now button)

Event is subject to capacity, without exceptions. Space will be reserved for ticket holders.

Brockway Room (Ground floor – accessible. Induction loop audio).

Tea, coffee & biscuits will be available.​


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