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Words in Pain: Dulwich Festival Book Talk

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An evening to savour the collected letters of Olga Jacoby (1874-1913), published as Words in Pain, with readings by actor Beth Eyre as the captivating voice of Olga.

Olga Jacoby wrote the letters when living “under sentence of death” from a terminal heart condition, and hoped “to die with my pen in my hand”. She died leaving four young adopted children. This rediscovered treasure is a picture of family life and love, interspersed with clear-headed musings on the nature of illness, loss and death. Words in Pain illuminates the development of rationalist thought, humanism and liberal education and the history of adoption, and offers inspiration to those who try to come to terms with dying without religion as a solace.

Festival trustee and local resident Louise Wood will discuss the provenance of Words in Pain, as well as its many themes, with Jocelyn Catty and Trevor Moore, co-editors of the centenary edition.

You can listen to some readings by Beth Eyre from Words in Pain here:

Tickets £8, Concession £6; Plus eventbrite booking fee if purchased online
ticket include a glass of wine or juice.

Praise for Words in Pain
“These wonderful letters prove that true immortality lies in what we leave behind. For those of us who cannot accept the consolation of religion, they provide a sane and comforting view of how to live and, more importantly, die. They bear reading and re-reading and teach us how to live even when in the shadow of death. A feminist, rational and heartening voice about the big stuff—life and death.”
Sandi Toksvig

“This remarkable book charts the difficult journey of an intelligent and enlightened young woman, as she approaches her inevitable death with optimism, generosity and wit. It is stimulating, moving, profound, and extremely enjoyable.”
Mike Leigh

“Words in Pain is an epistolary treasure trove. By turns funny, touching, and intensely sad, Olga’s letters muse on timeless questions about the nature of life, love and death—questions which resonate powerfully today.”
Cathy Newman