On being stalked
James Lasdun in conversation with Susie Orbach
Somerset House, 7pm
In the autumn of 2003, the award-winning poet and novelist James Lasdun gave a fiction workshop to graduates in New York. Among them was a young woman with obvious literary gifts, whose work he tried to encourage by assuming the role of 'avuncular, rather eunuchy' critic-mentor. After a while, however, his reticent-seeming former student morphed into a ferocious cyber-stalker, bombarding Lasdun with emails that swung from declarations of love to wild accusations that he had sold her work to other writers and had her 'drugged and raped', and using the internet to invade every area of his life - private, professional and psychological. Lasdun talks to psychoanalyst and writer Susie Orbach about his memoir, Give Me Everything You Have, exploring the hinterland between obsession and mental illness; the particular psychology of teacher/pupil relationships; the terrifying opportunities that new technology offers stalkers; and the likely conclusion of a situation that remains, as yet, unresolved.
We are grateful to the Royal Literary Fund for sponsoring this event.
James Lasdun photographed by Nina Subin
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Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House