About An Evening with Zadie Smith

With The Fraud, Zadie Smith turns her incredible talent to historical fiction for the first time, telling the tale of the Tichborne Case, the trial that captivated and divided Victorian England in the 1860s and 70s.

Told through the eyes of Eliza Touchet, cousin-in-law to the once-celebrated novelist William Ainsworth, the trial introduces her to star witness, Andrew Bogle. A former slave from the Hope Plantation in Jamaica, Bogle knows that lives depend on his testimony.

Zadie uses razor-sharp wit to consider truth and lies, the position of women, the class system, the legacy of slavery and, ultimately, whose stories are told and who is allowed to tell them.

A thoughtful, engaging and witty speaker, Zadie is the bestselling author of five novels, including her phenomenal debut White Teeth, which won several awards and was adapted for television; On Beauty, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and adapted for the BBC. She is also the author of three essay collections, a short story collection and a play, The Wife of Willesden, adapted from Chaucer.

Access and Content Warnings


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Content Warnings

Zadie's novel draws from history and examines slavery, power, inequality, hypocrisy and truth.

Credits and Partners

Presented by Manchester Literature Festival.

Manchester Literature Festival is a celebration of imagination, ideas, stories, and voices from around the world. It is part of Manchester’s rich cultural tapestry and is committed to bringing together the most exciting storytellers, poets, and thinkers for everyone to enjoy.

Learn more about Manchester Literature Festival here.

Dates & times