My First Memory

Epiphanies, Watersheds and Origin Stories

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Join us for an evening of readings to celebrate the launch of the new anthology, My First Memory, by Ben Holden, in association with the Refugee Council. The evening will feature readings from Alf Dubs and Melvyn Bragg, among others, as they take a trip down memory lane and recall their first memory.

Tis far off
And rather like a dream than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants.

— The Tempest, Act I, scene 2

My First Memory includes the first memories of iconic figures – from Machiavelli to Freud, Einstein to Hawking, Churchill to Luther King, Pankhurst to Angelou, Pavarotti to Springsteen, and Pelé to Bolt – combined with exclusive, personal pieces by some of today’s greatest writers, scientists and thinkers: the likes of Sebastian Barry, Melvyn Bragg, David Eagleman, Susan Greenfield, Tessa Hadley, Javier Marías, Michael Morpurgo and the late Ursula K Le Guin.

The trip down memory lane is heightened by the remembrances of refugees: from heroic figures such as Madeleine Albright, Isabel Allende, Alf Dubs, Yusra Mardini, Elie Wiesel and Stefan Zweig to lesser-known but no less courageous voices. Many of these moving accounts tell of children being forced to leave home and family behind forever. They may have grown up to lead inspirational lives – but none ever forgot from whence they came.

Find out more about the book


Standing £5
Seated £10

*A £2.50 transaction fee per order applies online

Running time: approximately 1 hour

Part of Refugee Week

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