guernseyliteraryfestival

It's not just a book thing!

My First 29 Hours at the LitFest

By Caroline Mauger, Secretary/Copywriter of the GLF Steering Group

OK, I admit it: sometimes, in the run-up to a Festival, I question why I’m on the committee. All those meetings and all that writing, crammed in between the gaps in the day job and the demands of life in general. But then the LitFest actually arrives and I remember why it’s so great.

077A021320150917LitFestThe first event of the Festival proper for me was Edward Chaney’s talk about Genius Friend, his biography of G.B Edwards, reclusive author of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page. Jenny Kendall-Tobias did a fabulous job of interviewing both Edward and Steve Foote of Blue Ormer Publishing. It was great to have a sell-out audience, proof that this gem of a novel is one we have taken to our hearts. I don’t want to give any spoilers as Edward will be talking again on Sunday but expect a few surprise revelations about G.B!

I missed the Opening Party in favour of seeing Anthony McGowan, author of gritty YA novels such as Henry Tumour, Hellbent, Brock and Pike. He really got us thinking about the importance (or otherwise) of truth in fiction. And when reluctant reader Lewis bought a book, Anthony said he’d give him two of our fine Guernsey pound notes if he finished it. ‘But how will you know I’m telling the truth?’ asked Lewis. ‘I trust you,’ replied Anthony.

We headed up to the gorgeous new Hotel Ziggurat after that – lovely surroundings and an equally lovely literary crowd. Definitely worth the hike up Constitution Steps.

This morning I was lucky enough to escort Mr Oggy Boytchev to the Grammar School for a talk, hosted by Mr Montague. Oggy opened our eyes to the fact that we know most about the conflicts in zones where foreign reporters are allowed, but that there are horrors taking place in other countries that go largely unreported. The students, ranging from year 8 up to year 13, made a fantastic, engaged audience.

077A038320150918LitFestAgony aunt Irma Kurtz is a wise woman who gave excellent advice. I liked this one: in our fast-moving digital age, the possibility of making an immediate response speeds up the infliction of pain. Stop and think.

Former Chief Librarian Maggie Falla interviewed Jussi Adler-Olsen and they were fun to watch. Jussi explained how he interacts with us in bed.. that’s us as readers, of course, keeping us hooked with his unputdownable Department Q novels and preventing us from falling asleep!077A043520150918LitFest

It’s not only books that provoke an emotional response: Hyoie O’Grady’s performance of Eponine’s song at Susan Fletcher’s talk had me quietly snivelling – breathtaking! And Magnus Buchanan’s interview with Susan, charmingly introduced by our blogger Maisie, was a captivating exploration of the character of Eponine, to whom Susan has given a voice in A Little in Love. Victor Hugo would definitely approve.

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This entry was posted on September 18, 2015 by .
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