Event: Trump’s America: what fiction tells us about post-fact politics.

As the US election draws ever closer, is it time to think the unthinkable? If the world wakes on 9th November to find President Trump in the White House, what will the future hold for the world’s most powerful nation?

On Wednesday 12th October, best-selling author Lionel Shriver and academic, writer and broadcaster, Professor Sarah Churchwell join me at Mark’s Club in Mayfair to talk about the possible, the probable and the untenable in the run up to the election.

Lionel Shriver’s dystopian novel, The Mandibles, set a hundred years after the Wall Street Crash, imagines a (near) future America in terrible crisis; the country is bankrupt, defaulting on its debt obligations, the Republican party has imploded, and Mexico has built a wall to keep desperate US citizens out of its country. Far from feeling far-fetched, The Mandibles seems chillingly prescient: perhaps, as one of the novel’s characters says, “Plots set in the future are about what people fear in the present. They’re not about the future at all.”

Professor Sarah Churchwell says Trump is nothing new – the United States has seen it all before. Trump’s much vaunted ‘America First‘ was originally the campaign slogan of Warren G Harding, who became the nation’s very first ‘businessman President’ in 1920, breeding the anti-immigration nativism, isolationism and cult of profit that defined the twenties and ended with the Great Depression.

Churchwell and Shriver are two of the most incisive and fascinating of commentators on contemporary America and the evening promises a unique and vivid analysis of the spectre of a Trump presidency, the lessons of the past, and why post-truth politics seems stranger than fiction.

Trump’s America. Wednesday 12th October, 630pm to 800pm, Mark’s Club, Mayfair.

Tickets are £40 and include drinks and canapés, a copy of The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver and a copy of Careless People; Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of the Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell.

Mark’s is London’s most exclusive private members’s club. I have a small number of tickets available to non-members: to reserve your place, please email me on mrstrefusis@gmail.com.

Guests of The Books That Built Me may also book for dinner (please let me know whether you’d like to dine when you email). Club dress code applies.

 

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