Yesterday I went to Foyles bookshop in the centre of London to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Vintage Classic. The day was packed with famous authors and wonderful bookish chat, so I thought I’d share the highlights with you.
Sadie Jones, Sebastian Peake (son of Gormenghast creator and illustrator Mervyn Peake) and Jake Arnott debated who was the greatest literary villain, with Sadie Jone’s, Dracula, beating Jake Arnott’s, Long John Silver, and Sebastian Peake’s, Steerpike, in the final vote. The chair, Viv Groskop, was very entertaining and held the debate together superbly.
I have always been a bit scared of the copy of The Gormenghast Trilogy that I have on my shelf, but this discussion persuaded me to give it a try. Have you read the Gormenghast Trilogy?
Rose Tremain mainly discussed the new Orange Inheritance collection, in which authors were asked to select one book that they would like to pass onto the next generation. Rose Tremain chose Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac and she made it sound very appealing. Balzac is one of those authors I have always meant to try, but haven’t got around to yet. Have you read any Balzac?
People who read Kevin more than once are insane.
She told us that she wasn’t allowed to talk about the We Need to Talk About Kevin film (released on 2nd September in the UK), but admitted that she saw it for the first time 10 days ago and loved it. (click here to see the first still images that have been released).
She also had a great little disagreement with a woman who said she didn’t like the ending of We Need to Talk About Kevin:
Even after all these years, when someone tells me they’re disappointed with the ending of We Need to Talk About Kevin, I’m still enraged!
If you ever get the chance to hear Lionel Shriver talk I highly recommend that you make an effort to attend as she is very entertaining!
Mark Haddon explained why he wasn’t worried about the future of books:
Books are future-proof. They are the only medium that is already digital.
He also let us know that he loves re-reading books.
I love destroying a book with love.
All his favourite books will be falling apart because they have been read so much!
Sebastian Faulks talked about his recent TV series, Faulks on Fiction. He revealed that he hated the slow pace of programme making and said that it was far quicker to write a book than to make a TV series.
The BBC is like the old Soviet Union, but less humorous.
Unfortunately it doesn’t sound as though he is likely to be making another series in the future.
It was a fantastic day!
Thank you to Foyles and Vintage for organising such a wonderful event!