Renowned Author Elsa Hart’s visit to VinUni campus

Event date: 12/10/2023

Renowned Author Elsa Hart’s visit to VinUni campus

With the support of the Vice Provost’s office and the Teaching and Learning Excellence Centre, the VinUni library proudly hosted its inaugural author Elsa Hart visit on October 10th. This remarkable event, attended by over 160 enthusiasts—including students and teachers from Brighton College and Vinschool—centered on the theme: “A Writer’s Process: Researching, Writing, and Publishing Historical Mysteries”.

Author Elsa Hart

Award-winning author, Elsa Hart, captivated the audience as she shared insights into her storytelling journey and her latest work, “The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne”—a vivid blend of history and fiction set in 1703 London, merging science with magic.

Ms. Elsa Hart, the offspring of a journalist, was born in Rome and spent her formative years in various foreign lands, receiving her education in international schools in Moscow and Prague. Her literary inclinations gravitate towards narratives of historical travelers, often placing her characters in unfamiliar settings. In her initial trilogy of mysteries, she chronicles the adventures of a librarian turned detective in 18th-century China. Her first book, Jade Dragon Mountain, published in September 2015, won the Best Historical Mystery- 2015 RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards.

In her fourth novel, “The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne,” released in August 2020 and made her the winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award at the 2021 Edgars, Ms. Hart wrote about London in 1703, a time of scientific exploration and a penchant for the fantastical, when an elite group values the accumulation of various objects as the key to understanding the world. Sir Barnaby Mayne, a collector with a domineering approach, is their most prominent member.

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne,” released in August 2020

When Cecily Kay, drawn by her passion for plants, arrives at Mayne’s house, even a murder doesn’t drive her away. The crime is confessed to by Mayne’s shy curator, but it doesn’t account for missing documents, a hasty scholar’s departure, or the fear gripping Mayne’s guests. Cecily believes the murder holds more secrets. Amid naturalists, apothecaries, artists, and tricksters surrounding Mayne, she seeks an ally in Meacan Barlow, a childhood friend turned illustrator, but trust is tested. Cecily delves into the world of collectors, where obsession and greed distort intellect. To uncover the truth, she risks her life and may find herself among the remains hidden in Mayne’s cabinets.

VinUni library proudly hosted its inaugural author Elsa Hart visit

Ms. Hart’s enlightening presentation was well-received by the attendees, who found inspiration in her words and stories. At the conclusion of the event, Ms. Hart graciously shared her books with the audience, including readers from VinUni, Brighton School, and Vinschool.

In contrast to traditional academic libraries, VinUni Library stands out as one of the most modern university libraries in Vietnam, embracing an immersive library model. It has evolved into a contemporary knowledge hub, going beyond the conventional library function, where communities can both access and generate new knowledge and have fun experiences.  Encouraged by this event’s success, VinUni library looks forward to curating similar enriching experiences in the future. Our heartfelt thanks to all contributors and attendees.

Keep an eye out for future events!