Events Open to the Public

 Monday February 24: 7pm

Minster Lovell History Society (Oxon)

Village Hall

Based on her experience writing the 120 life stories in the Oxford Castaway books Sylvia will talk about

Life-writing and how to begin.

Saturday April 4 : 10.30- 5

Oxford Indie Book Fair Ox Indie Book Fair _ info sheet-compressed_rev5 (1)

Wesley Memorial Hall (next to St Peter’s College in New Inn Hall Street)  Oxford.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford will open  the 45 exhibitor fair which has a full programme of workshops, performances and talks – all free admission

They will include a workshop with world famous illustrator Korky Paul and ‘Animation’ presentation by Joanna Harrison of ‘The Snowman and the Snow Dog’ , ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ and  ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea.’

Sylvia will  talk  about ‘Mixed Relationships and how they inspired Sculpting the Elephant .’@ 3pm

12.30 –12.50pm: Launch of ‘Around the World by Land, Sea and Air ’by  Michael Harry.( Anglepoise)  In conversation with film maker  Richard Scrase on experiences on the Trans- Siberian railway .

1.0-pm – 1. 20: Performance poetry by Euton Daley ‘The Politics of Love’

1. 25 -1.45 Jenny Lewis and Adnan Al Sayegh will perform accompanied by music and dance with Confluence Collective

1.55 – 2.15. Lapa Performance Artists.  Text in Performance Art – followed by more performances outside weather permitting.

The full programme will be published in late February .

Thursday April 16

Chinnor and District U3A

Village Hall Chinnor @2.30

Brushstrokes in  Time as below but @2.30


My Anglo/Indian event @ Abingdon Library on Thursday 21 and great feedback.

Drawing on my experience – from which I created my novel Sculpting the Elephant – l’ll explore the dilemmas of identity in mixed- race relationships. Doors open at Abingdon Library  at 7 pm on Thursday 21 November for Bombay Sapphire and Pakoras and a taste of England too . My talk starts at 7.30. All welcome .

Abingdon Library:  The Charter, Abingdon. OX14 3LY Tel: 01235 520374

Thursday Nov 21 7 for 7.30:  Tickets available on door £2 include Anglo/Indian refreshments.  

Signing and Selling at Kennington Book Fair (Kennington Village Centre) Saturday Nov 30 10 am-1

Green Fair Oxford (with Oxfordfolio) @ Oxford Town Hall  Sunday Dec 1 from 10am-4 pm.

I gave a similar talk at McGill University (Montreal) on October 30. Among the audience was a distinguished Professor of Computing. His 60th birthday was honoured by his research community with a three-day symposium, called Prakash Fest, held at Oxford University. Kerelan born Prakash made a comment that made me realise that I had got the character of Ramma right in Sculpting the Elephant. He said Ramma going alone to Oxford is rare. An Indian PhD student at McGill insisted to him, ‘I am here by myself for myself. I am not a wife!’ He said that was unusual because most female masters students accompany their husbands. I wanted Ramma to be a strong and independent woman but for readers to realise that was harder for her than for most Western women. I wanted Ramma to be like his PHD student!

Caroline Foulk – co- author of Picasso’s Revenge has just finished reading it and says

‘Sculpting the Elephant is a joy and the story is a unique gateway to Anglo-Indian culture – such an interesting flashpoint of cultures, and so rich with a sense of art and history. It reminded me of my joy for stories such as Jewel in the Crown. I hope I managed to capture my enthusiasm for it.’

Feed back  about this talk from the fundraiser at Watlington Library CHAIRMAN OF TRUSTEES Dr Anna Tilley

The Friends of Watlington Library were delighted to welcome back accomplished local author Sylvia Vetta last week to talk about her recently published second novel, Sculpting the Elephant, an engaging love story set across two different cultures. Inspired by her own personal knowledge of marrying her Indian husband in 1960’s Britain and the challenges they faced, Sylvia pitched her talk around the very topical issue of Mixed- Race relationships, whilst deftly interweaving the creation of her two protagonists into her words. Sylvia is an eloquent and assured speaker and spoke movingly about her own experiences; a topic that is increasingly relevant in our multicultural society. Her talk was extremely personable and whilst offering an intimate insight into an important relevant issue, was entertaining and excellently pitched and provoked a number of questions from the floor and a real interest in reading what is a wonderful novel.

This was a second visit, following her talk on Brushstrokes in Time, a talk and book that were also extremely well received, and we look forward to hearing her speak on her next novel.







Events coming up very soon

Friday 30 August: the Ashmolean: I’ll be guiding a tour of visiting Chinese academics. I’m calling it ‘ Crossing Cultures ;Crossing Time’ and emphasising how ideas and inventions  spread from East to West and from West to East’ .  I am happy to repeat it.

Tuesday September 10: Walton Manor WI (7.30 ) St Margarets Church  Polstead Rd. (I believe non members are welcome)

Wednesday September  11: Goring Library .6pm

Both these talks will be on mixed relationships and Sculpting the Elephant (See Watlington Library poster)

Saturday September  14  West Wimbledon Society

How I cast away 120  amazing people



Saturday June 1 – The final day in Antiques on High !

Join me for prize winning quiz , signings ,  fizz and a surprise

Antiques on High (Oxford)  opposite Queens College   3.30-5pm

Friday  June 7- Watlington Library

Talk on Mixed Relationships

Sunday 16 June :  Second London Launch

Anglo Indian high tea with entertainment RSVP to me please





More Launches: Sculpting the Elephant @Antiques on High

The Launch of Sculpting the Elephant at Antiques on High

Sylvia Vetta’s second novel Sculpting the Elephant is inspired by her own life experiences in a mixed marriage and in a twenty year career in the art and antiques trade.  You are invited to explore the ideas behind Harry King’s shop Deco-rators with the author Sylvia Vetta and  with Caroline Henney – vintage jewellery expert at Antiques on High and one of the inspirations for the character of Kathy in Sylvia’s novel.

Thursday May 2 @ 4.30pm : Sylvia will be in Antiques on High for sales and signings. There will be the opportunity to take part in a fun antiques hunt quiz and a Deco prize will be awarded to the winning entry.  (In the case of more than one –there will be a draw.  )

At 5 pm there will be a short video about Sculpting the Elephant and some archive material from the world of art and antiques in Oxford will be on display.  Caroline and Sylvia will talk about the book and guide visitors around Antiques on High pointing out relevant twenties and thirties objects fashion and jewellery. For those who would like to continue conversation with Sylvia, Caroline and other interesting guests they will cross the road to St Mary’s and everyone is welcome to join them for

TEA @ the VAULTS approx 5.30.

 Monday May 13: Sylvia will be in Antiques on High for conversation, reminiscence and book signings from 3.30- 5pm

Saturday June 1: The finale of the May Sculpting the Elephant theme in Antiques on High Sylvia will be present from 2.30-4.30 pm. She will give away copies of features she wrote on Deco and we will raise a glass at the end!

The View from Antiques on High- Queens College to the left and Teddy Hall to the right


The view from St Mary’s: The charming Vaults cafe  where we will have tea is in the ground floor.



Coming up in 2019

Tuesday January 8

Talk to Holton and Waterperry WI in Holton Village Hall at 7.30.
Subject : The Importance of Life Writing and How to Begin

Saturday February 2
Indian Republic Day Celebration
Rose Hill Community Centre 6.30

Thursday February 7
Oxford Brookes University
Audio Books
Sylvia will be on the panel of 4 with Catherine O’Brien chaired by James Harrison (Oxfordfolio)
(Essential Audiobooks recorded Brushstrokes in Time)

Wednesday 13 February 7.30 in the Methodist Church
Kennington WI
Talk : How I castaway 120 inspirational people.
Oxford Castaways 3

Thursday 21 February
South Leigh Village Hall 2.30pm
The Importance of Life Writing and tips on how to begin.

Wednesday March 6
- Sylvia Vetta

The launch of Sculpting the Elephant
The Jam Factory opposite Oxford Station
6.30 -7.30 (Free but please book with Sylvia )
(optional meal in the restaurant afterwards £20 )

Saturday March 16,
7pm @ Kennington Village Centre (OX15PG)
This cabaret style Indian Evening launch of Sculpting the Elephant includes entertainment & a free Indian meal but please bring your own bottle!
(Spaces are limited so please reserve your place)

Thursday 11 April
Talk to Long Hanborough WI
China; the true story behind Brushstrokes in Time
7.30 Village Hall

May-June: Antiques on High (85 the High, Oxford OX14BG)
Many items mentioned in Sculpting the Elephant will be on display and a free leaflet on C20th design titled From Dresser to the Ad Man written by Sylvia will be available in the centre. Dates to be confirmed when Sylvia will be present for discussion and book signing. Click on link for details of May 2 launch etc.

Sculpting the Elephant at Antiques on High


Friday June 7  @ 7pm The Friends of Watlington Library: Sculpting the Elephant, Mixed Relationships and Lost Histories

Saturday  June 15 @ Claret Press (Clapham) The London  launch of Sculpting the Elephant.

By |December 30th, 2018|Events|0 Comments

Events ; Speaking Engagements Coming Up in 2018

WI Talks Coming Up in August

How I Castaway 120 people

1) Charlton on Otmoor  Primary School  Tues 14 August 7.30

 2) The Heyfords  The Reading  Room , Upper Heyford  Wednesday 15 August 7.30

Wednesday September 19  @ 4.30

Brushstrokes in Time

China under Mao and what some courage artist did next .

@ Adderbury Library

Saturday 22 September @ Sculpture in the Vineyard  

Bothy Vineyard  Poems in an Exhibition with me and Heather Rosser and  world music from Confluence Collective.c


Wednesday October 3  11-12 am

Life -writing session at Kennington Library  with Pamela Allen

October 9 @7.30

Long Wittenham WI 

Thursday  November  8@ 7.30pm: China from 1963-1993

Long Hanborough 

This photograph was taken at the launch of Oxford  Castaways 3 – some of the inspirational people I have had the priviledge  to interview.

One of the last public pictures of Sir Roger Bannister.


Saturday December 1 10am-4pm

Oxford Town Hall Green Fair

Book signing and selling





To buy copies of Oxford Castaways 2
Go to
and click on the cover image.