This year I went to two events for Manchester Literature Festival. They were both really enjoyable and I wish I could have got to more of the excellent events that made up the festival this year.
These two events happened on two different Tuesdays. I’m a creature of habit, so before each event I took myself off to have dinner, with my book, to the excellent Rudy’s for pizza and beer. I was even reading the same book both times. Are you afraid to eat by yourself in a restaurant? I used to be. The best advice is to just pretend you are a confident person who can just casually eat alone, whilst not giving a fuck what anyone thinks. Before you know it, you will just be eating alone, and not giving a fuck what anyone thinks.
Pat Barker: The Silence of the Girls at Manchester Central Library
Pat Barker was introduced by Kamila Shamsie. This was a really enjoyable evening with Pat Barker talking about her new book: The Silence of the Girls. My review can be found here. It’s a retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of Briseis.
Kamila Shamsie, of course, wrote Home Fire last year (my review here), itself a retelling of Antigone by Sophocles. So retellings of classic Greek stories is the theme of the night, along with feminism and the erasure of women’s stories from these classics.
Anita Sethi interviewing Guy Gunaratne and Nikesh Shukla at Waterstones, Deansgate.
Firstly, I was quite gutted when I arrived to find out that Sharlene Teo was no longer able to be at the event. I’d just finished listening to the audio book of her novel Ponti (review here), and I loved it and wanted to hear her speak about it. Luckily there was still Guy Gunaratne and Nikesh Shukla talking about their books, with Anita Sethi introducing them and asking questions.
Guy Gunaratne was discussing In Our Mad and Furious City. His book about a London estate in the aftermath of a terrorist incident. My review is here, and I love this book. Nikesh Shukla was talking about his new book The One Who Wrote Destiny. It sounds great, but I haven’t had time to read it yet. I have read his first book, Coconut Unlimited (pre book blogging though! so no review. Its good though!) and I absolutely love The Good Immigrant that he edited (my review here).
And it’s not quite finished yet either, because although the main festival is over, there are still a few events happening over the next month or so. I have tickets for Ben Myers and Adelle Stripe in December. Of course I also now have The Gallows Pole and Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile in preparation for this, that I will need to read in November!
I might try and eat somewhere different for this one… or even have a friend to go with! Imagine!