Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon: Next stop Nigeria

sundaysalonThis year’s Hay Literary Festival kicks off in Wales next weekend. Last year was my first experience of this event which started with a few people around a kitchen table and is now one of the biggest events of its kind in the UK.  I’ll be heading for the festival site nestling in the Welsh hills on the final Sunday of the event.  Anyone else planning to be there??

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

There are just so many tempting speakers on offer again this year, it was hard to decide between them but there was one stand out speaker on the program for me – Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I heard a talk with her on BBC Radio 4 last year, not long after her third novel Americanah was published to great acclaim which made me wonder why it’s taken me so long to get to read her work.  Her appearance at Hay is just the impetus I need to rectify that situation.

I’ve also persuaded my book group to make Americanah our choice for July. Quite a few members were very keen having enjoyed her Orange-prize winning second novel Half a Yellow Sun  but a number of others were not that enthusiastic when they saw how many pages they’d have to read. There seems a reluctance to read anything longer than about 350 pages – I don’t know whether that’s just this group’s preference or whether it happens with other groups also where people think they won’t have enough time to read a long book by the next meeting.

The other event I’ll be attending is a discussion with the theatre and film director Richard Eyre who, amongst his many credits, is the man responsible for the magnificent Hollow Crown series of filmed versions of Shakespeare’s history plays. He’s going to be talking about the significance of the plays from Shakespeare’s second historical tetralogy, Richard IIHenry IV, Part I and 2 and and Henry V within the overall body of the Bard’s work and their role in our understanding of Britain’s identity.

I’m hoping I can squeeze in a third event if possible as well as a little mooch around the tea shops and second hand shops in Hay itself.  I may even get tempted enough to buy a few new 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

17 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Next stop Nigeria

  • How fun that you can go to the festival! I hope you have a great time!

    • the weather is the only thing that can spoil it -though the events are all in doors it means people will not be lounging around on the grass having picnics or stretched out with a book in hand. it makes it a very different atmosphere

    • I was saying that for many years and I live nearer than you do so had to excuse. But once you go, you know you’ll want to go back

  • I once (in the days before the festival) made the mistake of renting a cottage in Hay for a whole week. Well, I didn’t think it was so much of a mistake, but my bank manager clearly thought it was a disaster!

    • The problem of supply and demand I suspect. Hay doesn’t have that much in the way of accommodation so it tends to get well in advance by regular visitors to the festival. Luckily for me it’s just a 90 minute drive but it does mean I miss out on early morning sessions and the evening program.

  • joyweesemoll

    Sounds like a terrific event! I look forward to hearing about it.

  • I heard Adichie speak a few months ago and really enjoyed it, and I’ve since read both Half of a Yellow Sun and The Thing Around Her Neck. She is a writer who never fails to challenge me and, although I don’t always agree with her, I think she has some very important things to say.

    • I have both of these in my TBR pile so I’m glad to know they hold a promise of much enjoyment 🙂

  • I’m hoping to go too…she is an absolute mesmerising goddess. Seen her a few times now and love all her books! Tara x

    • Let me know of you decide to go on the same day, it would be great to meet up

      • Taken son tomorrow. Not sure in going to get there for Adichie. Will let you know if I do.

  • Well now I wish I could be with you to hear Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and maybe even get her autograph. Loved Americanah! I think you’ll like it too. It reads really quickly. I have the same problem with my book club as well with people not wanting to read anything over 300 pages. It’s weird! I just want the book to be good. Who cares how long it is! Enjoy yourself and come back with an autograph or two. 😉


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