Book Reviews

Sunday Salon: Hay Festival beckons

sundaysalonPosting this early so I can set off in good time for my first ever visit to the Hay Literary Festival.  A day talking about books in a town which boasts more second hand book stores than anywhere else in the world. It’s in an idyllic spot too – on the banks of the Wye River in the heart of the Golden Valley, one of the most glorious parts of Wales. Luckily the forecast is for sunny skies which will make the drive through the valley even more delightful.

There are so many sessions it’s been really tough making a choice but in the end I plumped for four,

Sex and the Citadel: Joanna Haddad and Sereen El Feiki in conversation with Joan Bakewell. 

These two authors have both published novels which look at how patriarchal attitudes are entwined in all aspects of life in the Middle East.  I chose this one as part of my quest to read more world literature. And also because I am a fan of Joan Bakewell who was a superb interviewer and host of some flagship cultural programs on the BBC for many years.

John Banville : the 2005 Booker Prize winner discusses obsessive young love and the power of grief as portrayed in his novels. We get to see some early clips from the forthcoming film of The Sea (his winning novel).

Edna O’Brien : the Irish-born novelist, playright and poet talks about her autobiography. She’s seen plenty of drama in her life . Her first novel  The Country Girls, is often credited with breaking silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War 2.  The book was banned, burned and denounced from the pulpit, causing O’Brien to leave her native land.

Google Debate: The Future of News: in a digital world of instant information, what and who is the future of news. This is a debate between senior editors from BBC World and the Daily Telegraph, an expert on China and some Google executives.

It will be a packed day but I may just be able to squeeze in some time to buy a few books….


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

7 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Hay Festival beckons

    • I managed to take a few Laurel in between dashing from one session to the next. Posted some of them today

  • Looking forward to your post on the festival 🙂

  • Take me! Take me! What a wonderful way to spend the day. Guess I’ll have to settle for reading about it here. Looking forward to that too.

    • You could always start planning for next year!! Or persuade someone that you really need to go to Ireland in June where the next event is being held. You do need a break after all that gardening surely

  • Enjoy the festival! It has always sounded like a lot of fun. I can’t wait for your “festival recap” post.


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