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Aminatta Forna, romantic fiction post #MeToo, the Hollywood sign

Aminatta Forna on her novel Happiness, set in modern London from the perspective of those passing through. And how is the #MeToo movement changing romantic fiction?

Prize-winning author Aminatta Forna on the many different ingredients that make up her new novel, Happiness, a multi-layered story set in modern London, seen from the perspective of those passing through.

The Alpha male sweeping a woman off her feet has long been a common trope in romantic fiction but can it survive in a world where the #MeToo movement has transformed the debate around gender politics?

The Hollywood sign, on Mount Lee in Los Angeles, is one of the world's most famous cultural icons. The original 45-feet tall sign sat on Hollywood Hills from 1923 until 1978, before it fell into disrepair and was replaced. Sculptor and collector Bill Mack bought the original sign. He talks to Front Row about its history and explains why he is taking the H on tour around the world.

And we hear about Blackpool's plans to open a museum celebrating its past as Britain's first mass seaside resort. Aided by a grant from the government's Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, the museum will form part of the legacy of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Available now

30 minutes

Chapters

  • Romantic fiction post #MeToo

    Duration: 08:59

  • Aminatta Forna

    Duration: 08:31

  • The Hollywoood sign

    Duration: 05:50

  • The Blackpool museum project

    Duration: 03:49

Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna

Happiness by Aminatta Forna is available in hardback and as an eBook from 05 April 2018.

Images:

Main image above and image to the left: Aminatta Forna

Image credit: Nina Subin

 

The Hollywood sign

The Hollywood sign

 

The Heart of Hollywood Tour starts at The Quadrant at the O2, London, from 21 June - 17 July 2018

Image: Iconic Hollywood images projected onto the 'H' from the original Hollywood sign

Image credit: Bill Mack

Blackpool Museum Project

Blackpool Museum Project

 

Blackpool's Amuseum telling the story of Blackpool as the UK's first mass seaside resort opens in 2020 on the Blackpool Promenade.

Image: Two children playing on Blackpool Sands in front of Blackpool Tower

Image credit: Heritage Blackpool

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Lang
Producer Kate Bullivant
Interviewed Guest Aminatta Forna
Interviewed Guest Bill Mack

Broadcast

Inspire

Inspire

A season discovering where artists find inspiration and helping listeners get creative.

BBC Arts Digital

BBC Arts Digital

The best of British culture live and on demand.

Front Row on TV

Front Row on TV

Join Mary Beard and guests for live and late debate on Friday evenings on BBC Two.

Podcast