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The University of Southampton

Writers and publishers debate the future of biography

Published: 5 July 2012
Avenue campus

Leading literary figures and booksellers gathered at the University of Southampton this summer for a two-day conference Can Biography Survive? It was the final event in the interdisciplinary Challenges to Biography Research Network funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and run by Professor Ray Monk (Philosophy) and Professor Adrian Smith (History).

Among people giving papers were some of the biggest names in the UK's literary and bookselling world, including writer Frederic Raphael, the bookseller Tim Waterstone, the publishers Stuart Proffitt (Penguin), Dan Franklin (Jonathan Cape), the agents Gill Coleridge and David Godwin, and the biographers Richard Holmes, Claire Harman, Jeremy Treglown and Helen Rappaport.

Click on the links to the right of this page to hear Oscar-winning author and screenwriter Frederic Raphael discuss the value of biography, Stuart Proffitt speaking about the book trade and Tim Waterstone explaining why he chose to come to the conference.

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