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London, Ep. 44

December 15, 2014 — In a literary event masquerading as our Xmas party, Literary Death Match pulled out all the stops with a respite from the mindless, booze-fueled holiday shindigs for a mindful, booze-fueled holiday-themed literary and comedic celebration that ended with Isley Lynn blurting out the final answer in a Literary 20 Questions finale to narrowly topple co-finalist Alex Christofi and win Lynn the LDM London, Ep. 44 crown.

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with Alex Christofi, literary agentoccasional Prospect magazine blogger, who read from the opening pages of his debut novel Glass, an stunning bit of writing that included a deaf, asshole brother and making rules for the cat. Next up it was Chimene Suleyman, author of Outside Looking On (named a Book of the Year in the Guardian), who stunned with a series of short-and-shorter breakup poems that dealt with racism and other forms of assholery. 

The mic was then handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges: John Leary, short storyist found in Zoetrope, One Story and the Gettysburg Review; Ingrid Oliver, actress, writer and brown-haired half of ; and Marcel Lucont, winner of the Fringe World Award as Best Comedy Show 2013. The three titillated with wit-filled whimsicalities and hilarities, too, with Leary saying about Suleyman's poems "It was the Twilight series meets Nine Inch Nails"; Oliver being fascinated that Christofi used all the names of her family members in his novel, and Lucont sharing how to remove honey from a cat: "Just shave it," before offering up 50 ways to leave your lover. After a difficult deliberation, it was Christofi who was announced as the first finalist. 

After a brief intermission, Round 2 commenced with Isley Lynn, performance poet and writer for theatre, film and radio, who told a daring, heartaching poem about the worst thing she'd ever done. Finally, it was Chris Killen, author of The Bird Room, who read from his all-new novel In Real Life, as he reeled off a pair of excerpts one from the perspective of a creative writing teach that had the audience on the edge of their chairs.

The mic was then handed back to the judges, who fired off another series of adoring and oddball responses before huddling up and making the night's second impossible decision, before declarying Lynn as the night's second finalist. 

The up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga and LDM executive producer Suzanne Azzopardi who announced the night's finale: Literary 20 Questions, in which Christofi and Lynn each held pictures of a popular author/lyricist/actor-in-a-literary-movie/fictional figures to their forehead and asked the audience yes/no questions, trying to figure out who they were. With everything to play for in the final round it was Lynn who nailed the final answer — shouting "Am I Virginia Woolf!?" (she was!) — winning her the Literary Death Match London, Ep. 44 crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

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