Alison Light

“Writing Common People:

between History and Fiction”


Thursday 15th October

Respondent: Professor Ben Highmore

Fulton 113

17.00 – 18.30

Alison Light spoke about her recent book,Common People: the History of an English Family which used her own family history to follow the lives of the migrant, working poor. A mix of memoir, social history and reflection, the book raises questions about the limits and possibilities of family history as a form of multiple biography; how we write the lives of the unknown, especially in these days of ‘poverty porn’; and the boundaries between history, fiction and personal memory. Professor Ben Highmore (Sussex) acted as respondent at the event.

This event was sponsored by the Centre for Modernist Studies and the Sussex Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research.