Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Edinburgh Book Festival
But what I'm really looking forward to is other people's events. On Friday night we are going to the London Review of Books on "The Future of the Book" - an old warhorse which has gained some shiny new e-spurs recently.
And Saturday pm there's James Shapiro talking about his latest Shakespeare book, Contested Will. His previous book, 1599, was absolutely excellent, so I'm hopeful. There's a clash with my timings which means I can't get to Nicola Morgan's session but I hope to meet her in the Yurt. Ah, the Yurt! Worthy of a whole post in its own right.
It's a tent where writers, their partners and publicists can drink coffee or beer or whisky and eat sandwiches or buns and I am relying on it for Saturday sustenance. But it is so much more than a tent - more of a Bedouin mirage in the middle of Charlotte Square. It's one of the few places in the world where you feel you are living the writer's life that non-writers believe goes on every day.
In the evening it's Michelle Lovric and Katie Hickman on "Fictionalising Venice" - something I have been known to do myself from time to time. I don't know Katie Hickman's book but have read Michelle's absolutely remarkable The Book of Human Skin.
I'm sure there are all sorts of other delights I'll be missing but after two nights in an Edinburgh hotel, we're decamping to Linda Strachan's house. Then home via York, where we'll visit Shandy Hall. Now there was a writer whose festival sessions I'd have paid good money to attend.
And I think Laurence Sterne would have felt right at home in that yurt.