Friday, 22 April 2011

The Scarborough Literature Festival 2011: Part 1

The Scarborough Literature Festival
Part 1
14 April 2011

Scarborough, the seaside town where chips and King cod still reign supreme, once again hosted a fabulous literature festival featuring a wide range of authors. This is the first of a three-part report (parts two and three should follow over the next couple of days).

Scarborough offers a mixture of old traditions and modern life. Some of the official news headlines can appear a little on the sleepy side...

...while some of the unofficial news offers something potentially more serious...

Kate Atkinson was the patron of this year's festival and she started off the day with a Breakfast Club. I wasn't there for that but I had a quick chat with her when I arrived.

Soon enough, it was time to settle in for the first guest speaker...

...none other than the great Sarah Waters, who was interviewed by James Nash.

Sarah was as wonderful as ever and she chatted about many aspects of her writing before reading a passage from 'The Little Stranger'.

A TV version of 'The Night Watch' will be hitting our screens very soon.

Next up was the Vincent Billington Memorial Concert, a fusion of piano renditions and a play based on the life of Grieg. It was a good 'Morning'.

Sarah Harrison started the afternoon sessions in effervescent fashion (in more ways than one). Sarah was a great speaker, focusing less on the writing process and more on funny stories from real life.

The final session of the day - for me, at least - was a very enjoyable, intimate book group with Andrew Martin. Andrew's series featuring railway detective Jim Stringer was the focus of the group. A copy 'Last Train To Scarborough' , the sixth book in the series, was included in the ticket price and the book was analysed in depth for the first hour of the session. There then followed a question and answer session on a wide range of literary subjects.

This was definitely one of the great highlights of the festival and I'd like to see more of this sort of group at future events.

The seventh book in the series sees Jim Stringer off to war in 'The Somme Stations'.

Reports from previous Scarborough Literature Festivals are also available:

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