I cannot live without books.
~ Thomas Jefferson
I love the atmosphere at this festival. It is peaceful and calm, yet humming under the surface with anticipation, enjoyment and wonder at all the riches which the literary world has to offer.
I attended four events: a recording of the BBC’s Open Book programme, hosted by Mariella Frostrup and written about in this post; and author events with Lionel Shriver, Jessie Burton and Susan Fletcher, and Tom Gauld.
They were all wonderful, in very different ways. Lionel Shriver spoken incisively, intelligently and comprehensively about her fears for western society in the short and medium future, building on the theme of her latest book The Mandibles. Jessie Burton and Susan Fletcher compared notes about art, celebrity and identity when discussing their books The Muse and Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew. Tom Gauld was fascinatingly fulsome in sharing a range of images which inspired his book Mooncop, along with thoughts on the process of developing a graphic novel.
He was also very generous with his time and skill when it came to the book signing session. He drew a small picture for each person. Here is mine.
I cannot tell you how much pleasure this gives me. Mr Gauld was prepared to have a proper discussion with me about how to develop a love for graphic novels, the colours chosen for his book and the clever conveying of emotion with just a few strokes of the pen. Fabulous! I am already looking forward to next year’s festival. 🙂