The thing I am most looking forward to is being back at the EAFOL and meeting up with all the wonderful writers and readers there. I am very excited to be spending a night in the desert too!
Why do you think literary festivals are important?
Literary festivals are an incredible phenomenon: they promote social unity, creativity and intellectual honesty – attributes in too short supply in our damaged world. We are all so lucky to be part of the movement.
You have to make a book tower of at least 5 books for your nightstand. Which ones would you choose?
I am going to choose five books that I have NOT read – the ones that really are on my nightstand:
- Charles Dickens: David Copperfield (I still feel guilty that I have never read this)
- Peter Frankopan: The Silk Roads. I was travelling in Iran last Autumn and this is the book that I should have read before I went there; and that I should have read when I came home….
- Cervantes – Don Quixote (see no 1)
- James Joyce – Ulysses (see no 1 and no 3)
- Daisy Ashford – The Young Visitors (oh well, ok, I have read it, but if you want an antidote to the hefty tomes above this is it. Daisy Ashford was just 9 years old when she wrote this jeu d’espirt about English upper-class life in the late nineteenth century; it was an instant success, and was published, then as now, complete with spelling mistakes – heaven!
In your opinion, what does 2016 hold for the world of literature?
2016 holds for the world of literature what it always does: a chance to inhabit, through books, other places, other worlds, other ways of being.