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.
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
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.
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
Sylvia will be on the panel of 4 with Catherine O’Brien chaired by James Harrison (Oxfordfolio)
(Essential Audiobooks recorded Brushstrokes in Time)
Thursday 21 February
South Leigh Village Hall 2.30pm
The Importance of Life Writing and tips on how to begin.
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)
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.
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.
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
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
A brilliant line up for The Kennington Festival Arts starting with Peggy Seeger. Read my profile feature on her here.
The Kennington Festival of Arts kicked off with the memorable Peggy Seeger.
She had the audience in the palm of her hand and her empathy shobe bright. I can recommend First Time Ever .
Many memoirs have too much detail ,this one is perfectly balanced has narrative drive and is poignantly honest. If you can’t buy the book ro don’t have much time you can read my 300word castaway feature on her life here.
It kicks off on Friday 20 April @ 7.30pm with Peggy Seeger talking about her book First Time Ever. Her life has been lived at the heart of major world events making her memoir truly MEMORABLE. Tickets @ £5 (in advance) are going fast.
Click on the pdf for the full programme for Saturday which includes me talking about China under Mao and what a courageous group of young artists did next. A day ticket in advance £10.
Memories! Korky Paul led our 200 yard Pied Piper Procession. Korky is the Friends (FOKL) Honorary Life President and will help our fundraising on April 21 at Kennington Festival of Arts with a family event aided by Winnie the Witch and Wilbur.
To buy copies of Oxford Castaways 2
and click on the cover image.