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Chrysalis: Anna Metcalfe in Conversation with Julianne Pachico

  • Friday 29 September 2023, 7pm
  • Pages of Hackney, 70 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0RN
  • £8 (Solidarity) · £6 (Standard) · £4 (Concession)


Anna Metcalfe

She is watched by Elliot as he trains in the gym. He notices her dedication to building her body and taking up space, and he is drawn to her strength. She is observed by her mother, as she grows from a taciturn, tremulous child into a determined and distant woman, who severs all familial ties. She is observed by her former colleague Susie, who offers her sanctuary and support as she leaves her partner and her job and rebuilds her life, transforms her body, and reinvents herself online. Each of these three witnesses to the woman desires closeness. Each is left with only the husk of who she was before she became someone else: a woman on a singular and solitary path with the power to inspire and to influence her followers, for good and ill.

An oblique, intimate novel told in lucid, beguiling prose, CHRYSALIS a story about solitude and selfhood, and about the blurred line between self-care and narcissism. It is about controlling the body and the mind, about the place of the individual within society and what is means when someone choses to leave society behind. It is strikingly contemporary story about the search for answers and those we trust to give them to us.

Anna Metcalfe is a short story writer and novelist. In 2023, she was listed as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Her debut novel CHRYSALIS was published in May.

Julianne Pachico is a short story writer and novelist who teaches Creative Writing at UEA; her new novel JUNGLE HOUSE will be published November ’23.


To ensure there is space for you at the event, we strongly recommend booking tickets in advance via Eventbrite. All ticket types offer general admission and unreserved seating.

Solidarity: Paying a little extra helps to fund our concessionary tickets (£8)

Standard: Our standard ticket rate (£6)

Concession: For those on a low income (£4)


The event will be held in the shop’s basement, which sadly due to the architectural limitations of the building is without wheelchair access. The space is accessed via stairs with a handrail on the left side.

The event will be amplified by a PA system to ensure all speakers are audible, and will be recorded and made available as a podcast at a later date.

A gender neutral toilet is available on the shop’s ground floor, which is upstairs from the event space.