Book to the Future

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventCommunity engagement event


14 Oct 2016


Colleges, School and Institutes


Ruth Gilligan - Presenter

Fiction 4 Empathy

This event will explore the complicated but important relationship between fiction and empathy; how Creative Writing and reading allow us to both expand our horizons and try to understand the lives of others. Dr Ruth Gilligan, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham, will speak about a recent storytelling project she ran with the US charity, Narrative 4. The project brought together three diverse local schools in the hope of breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes and fostering ‘radical empathy’. Ruth will also speak about Narrative 4’s founder, novelist Colum McCann, whose internationally-bestselling fiction is founded on the principle that we shouldn’t write what we know, but rather towards what we want to know. This will also allow Ruth to reflect on her own fiction, particularly her latest novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, which is based around a community and set of experiences with which she is most definitely not familiar. She will conclude with a short reading from the novel, available now from Atlantic Books.
14 Oct 2016

Book to the Future

Duration13 Oct 201615 Oct 2016
Location of eventUniversity of Birmingham
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Web address (URL)
Degree of recognitionNational event

Event: Workshop


  • Fiction, Empathy, Narrative 4, storytelling