Cityread 2018 – The Muse, by Jessie Burton

It is a hot July day in 1967 London. Odelle Bastien, recently arrived from Trinidad, climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery to begin a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, she remains a mystery – no more so than when a lost Spanish masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

This May, Cityread travelled from London to Andalucía and back again.  We visited Odelle’s London flat in our audio installation, Rufina and the Lion, in Whitechapel Idea Store throughout May.  If you didn’t get to see it, explore online here

The Muse author Jessie Burton was at two very special library events.  Many got the chance to explore the secrets in their own family trees at our workshops. We had nude models at life drawing classes in libraries across town.  We celebrated the impact of Caribbean migration on the capital’s music scene with a very special event with Lloyd Bradley and Jazzie B

Cityread 2018 ran a competition on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. There were 5 signed copies of this year’s book, The Muse by Jessie Burton, available to win. One winner was drawn each week of the competition and announced on the Sunday of that week.

 Supporters & Funders

“I’m truly delighted that The Muse will be London’s Cityread for 2018. It’s a novel that celebrates the diversity, humour and spirit of Londoners – both those who were born here and those welcomed in to make it their home. It’s an honour to support our city’s libraries and to be reminded of their incomparable value, and I can’t wait for new readers to find my story of Odelle and Olive, and make it their own.”

Jessie Burton