Writing from the Margins of History: Kathleen Vereecken & Rebecca Stott
‘I was born with a strange longing for people and times I have never known. Reading and writing about them, creating a whole new world, within the outlines of what we know, is the perfect way of getting closer to them.’
Kathleen Vereecken has had a lifelong fascination with the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck in the 15th century. But not many people know that the Van Eyck brothers had a sister, Margareta. Only two things are known about her: she was a gifted painter herself and she died as a virgin.
In Kathleen’s latest historical novel, Margareta, she paints a portrait of this enigmatic artist in the way she does best: connecting little histories to big history, seamlessly combining plenty of historical information with well-crafted psychological portraits. Her focus on an unknown character in the margins of history offers us a different perspective on our understanding of that time.
Kathleen will be joined in conversation by Rebecca Stott, author of the 2017 Costa Biography Prize-winning memoir, In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult.
Ticket includes a free glass of wine on arrival.
About the writers
Kathleen Vereecken has worked as a freelance journalist for several papers and magazines. She has written historical novels for young adults, books for children, and her first novel for adults was published in 2016. Her work has been translated into French, German and Italian. She lives in Ghent and is a writer in residence at Dragon Hall in April 2019. She says: ‘I couldn’t dream of a better environment to work on this book than Dragon Hall, where 15th-century history is still alive.’ Website
Kathleen Vereecken’s residency is part of an exchange with the Passa Porta House of Literature in Belgium, supported by the Flemish Literature Fund.
Rebecca Stott is a novelist, creative non-fiction writer, historian and broadcaster who is also Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at UEA in Norwich. She is the author of the novels Ghostwalk and The Coral Thief, the creative nonfiction books Darwin and the Barnacle and Darwin’s Ghosts: In Search of the First Evolutionists, and most recently the memoir In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult which won the 2017 Costa Biography prize. She lives in Norwich.
Image (c) Koen Broos
Our Meet the World events celebrate our ongoing connections with international writers and translators and will share their writing and ideas with our 21st-century audience. Find out more