Posted by: gillarbuthnott | August 18, 2016

Cherry, icing and cake.

Have had a lovely couple of days enjoying the sunshine in Charlotte Square at the Book Festival. It’s always a great place to be, but sunshine is the cherry on the icing on the cake.

As for the icing, and the cake…

On Tuesday I chaired a reading workshop on The King Must Die, and learned a huge amount from the other people there. This  is what makes these events so special: you’re not there to listen to one person talk, but to discuss, explore and question. To be, in this year’s phrase in fact, curious about the world. Most unexpected were the insights from a Chinese student, studying translation, who is currently working on a translation of part of TKMD. Fascinating to see the book refracted through such a different culture.

Yesterday I spent an hour enraptured by A L Kennedy, who after reading from Serious Sweet, her latest novel, seemed to speak more sense about civilisation and humanity in that hour than all the politicians and pundits combined have done all year. Actually, that’s an appalling insult, if I stop to think about it – could the bar be set any lower?

Topics ranged from the Iraq War and Brexit to why Boris Johnston might be compared to a squid, via imaginary (I think) late night literary cabaret in Guernsey – memorably described as a ‘hell-broth of Sodom’- Doctor Who, Das Boot, and Babylon 5. (Oh it’s so welcome to hear someone stick up for SF at a literary event!)

More, please!

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