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Throughout 2020, as part of their bicentenary celebrations, the Royal Society of Literature have curated a special series of conversations: On The Same Page brings together RSL Fellows who would not normally share a stage, to discuss the role of the writer in uncertain political times.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3, you can now tune in on-demand for a conversation with Tahmima Anam and Ian Rankin, who were both elected as Fellows in 2016. Tahmima is Bangladesh-born British anthropologist and a novelist. Her debut novel, A Golden Age, was winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. Ian Rankin is a Scottish novelist and has received an OBE for services to literature. His Rebus series has been translated into 22 languages.

This is a Royal Society of Literature event in partnership with Bradford Literature Festival and was originally planned to take place as part of the 2020 festival. Due to Coronavirus, RSL have collaborated with BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’ to adapt three episodes of On the Same Page for broadcast. All episodes will be available on the BBC Arts and Ideas podcast.

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About The Authors

Tahmima Anam

Tahmima Anam is an anthropologist and a novelist. Her debut novel, A Golden Age, won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and was a judge for the 2016 International Man Booker Prize. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University, and now lives in Hackney, East London.

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. Ian’s first novel Summer Rites remains in his bottom drawer, but his second novel, The Flood, was published in 1986, while his first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. The Rebus series is now translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents. Ian has received an OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his wife and two sons.