Monday, 16 August 2010

Edinburgh Book Festival 2010 - Michel Faber

Hullo ma wee blog,

Yesterday afternoon The Lovely G and I went to the first of this years book festival treats. For the last several years as part of my birthday present she has bought me a membership to the book festival, allowing me to pre book events with my favourite authors, usually in the format of a reading by the author, then an interview and finally a question and answer session with the audience, all of which takes about an hour. As an avid bookworm it's a time I look forward to eagerly for months beforehand, impatiently waiting for the event brochure to land.

Yesterday was a bit different as I booked for us to kick off the festival with Michel Faber, one of The Lovely G's favourite authors, although not someone I know well, having just finished reading a collection of short stories in preparation for the event. I did find his work intriguing though so was looking forward to hearing the man himself. I found his stories very well written, humane and thought provoking. He seems to write in various styles with equal effort which I found I really liked in his short story collection.

At the event he read one of his short stories and was then interviewed by another author, a lady I had never heard of and for some reason I can't remember her name for the life of me, before doing another short reading from a novel he is currently working on. I found him shy, engaging, self deprecating and a complex and highly intellectual character.  We both felt that although he appeared open he was very careful about how much of himself he gave away to the audience. He is clearly a very private person and lives quite in seclusion in the Scottish highlands. He admitted to not having a TV or even to reading any other authors unless he has been asked to provide a review - he has a column in  newspaper -The Guardian I think - or if he has been given one as a gift by a friend or if a friend makes a recommendation. It was an enjoyable hour and an interesting insight into someone I am definitely going to read more of.

You can read an interview with him here, or his bio here on wikipedia.

Tonight the book festival continues with an event I am taking my brother-in-law to, Ian Banks, a favourite of both of us. Over the years it's become a bit of a tradition that we go and see him together, ave a meal and a few beers. A rare boys night out.

See you later...

Listening to Phil Collins,  'Invisible Touch'

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