John Crace and John Sutherland

Crace and Sutherland, a.k.a ‘The Two Johnnies’ ponder the question, “what of today’s literature will still be being read in 100 years time?” This enjoyable session featured the thoughts of the ‘Superprof’ Sutherland and the hilarious ‘Digested Reads’ of Crace.

Sutherland’s book, ‘How to be Well Read’ takes 500 novels; his own recommendations, as well as his pastiche on Victorian writing, proving, according to him, that just because he has a Phd in Literature doesn’t mean he can write. The questions “why do books survive from long ago?” and “what would be the Howard’s End of the 21st century?” were pondered, and we were treated to Crace’s version of Wolf Hall hoping that Hilary Mantel would get the joke as it underwent the ‘Cracian Digestion Process’. He attributes her presence in his version to her strong authorial voice in the novel.

Finally we heard the Digested Read version of Pippa Middleton’s party tips, hilarious for both audience and reader. Not sure if this one will be in Sutherland’s book. I suspect not…

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