Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes Zadie Smith and Hanif Kureishi are amongst seventeen authors auctioning off the chance for readers to have a character named after them in their books to raise money for Freedom from Torture, a medical charity. You can make an absentee bid online via the auction website www.freedomfromtorture.org/fullstop – the online auction facility will go live on Wednesday 29 October at 6pm and will close on Thursday 20 November at 12 noon.
Among the characters on offer is a female landlady in Tracy Chevalier’s next novel. She said: “I am holding open a place in my new novel for Mrs—ideally a Mrs—[your surname], tough-talking landlady of a boarding house in 1850s Gold Rush-era San Francisco. The first thing she says to the hero is” ‘No sick on my stairs. You vomit on my floors, you’re out.’”
Margaret Atwood is offering to name a character in a new novel or one in her retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, which will be published as part of Vintage Books’ Hogarth Shakespeare programme. Other authors taking part include Alan Hollinghurst, Pat Barker, Will Self, Sebastian Faulks and Martina Cole.
The auction event itself takes place on 20th November in London. McEwan said: “Forget the promises of the world’s religions. This auction offers the genuine opportunity of an afterlife. Bidding in the Freedom from Torture auction will help support a crucial and noble cause.”