A Novel Response to Brexit: A critical/creative Discussion with authors Maggie Gee and Catherine Fox, and Dr Ellie Byrne

Catherine WilcoxCarole Nash Recital Room

How have contemporary novelists engaged with Brexit in their fiction? This panel is made up of two novelists and an English academic. Each will give a 15-minute presentation, which will be followed by discussion, with an opportunity for Q&A at the end.


  • To explore how novelists are responding to Brexit in their fiction
  • To ask whether the traditional novel is a good medium for exploring current political developments, or whether new forms are needed
  • To examine how novelists have addressed transformations in Britain’s political and cultural imaginary in the last three years

Prof Maggie Gee, Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.  She has written thirteen acclaimed novels, including The Ice People, My Cleaner, My Driver and The White Family, a collection of short stories, The Blue, and a memoir of her life as a writer, My Animal Life (2010).  Her latest novel, Blood (2019), is a black comedy about parricide set in a disturbed, chaotic Brexit Britain.

Dr Ellie Byrne, Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2018 she ran the symposium Brexit Wounds: Arts and Humanities responses to leaving the EU selected papers are forthcoming in a special edition of the Open Arts Journal, including her paper on ‘Brexit Season’ in Ali Smith’s novels, a second symposium Europe and the Child: Crisis, Activism, Culture, will happen in February 2020 both funded by the MJMCE (Manchester Jean Monnet Centre for Excellence).

Dr Catherine Wilcox, novelist (writing as Catherine Fox) and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Academic Director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.  Her recent Lindchester trilogy was blogged in weekly instalments ‘in real time’.  She wrote the final volume, Realms of Glory, during 2016, blogging about Brexit as it unfolded.

Sun 11:30 am - 12:45 pm