Hay Festival Conversations – Book Review

Hay Festival Conversations: Thirty Conversations for Thirty Years is a lovely anthology of interviews done with authors speaking at the Hay-On-Wye Literary Festival.

As you can expect from the Hay Literary Festival ( I have never been to one, but I really want to go) the line-up of authors is amazing: it includes everyone from Hilary Mantel to Jimmy Carter. There are also some conversations between famous authors :

  • Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry, (which is quite annoyingly patronizing)
  • Mario Vargas Llosa and Julian Barnes (which magically somehow turned into a discussion into Flaubert’s Madame Bovary – wish I’d been there to witness that)
  • Judith Kerr (the author of the Mog Books) and Michael Morpugo (a famous children’s author, whom I never heard of until this year)

I wouldn’t usually buy an anthology of interviews for myself, but I do enjoy reading them. I received this one as a gift, and I have to say it was like a fine box of chocolates- very enjoyable and luxurious. I did find a few typos, but I expect the book was brought in rather a rush before the festival’s anniversary. It is a great joy to read about so many great writers talking about their work –and the state of world as they see it today (Orhan Pamuk and Margaret Atwood were particularly interesting as a commentary on modern politics).

In short, a recommended read for most bibliophiles.

And just look at the imitation marble paper on the inside of the cover!




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