The Press Christchurch Writers Festival – Day One preview (Thursday 4 September)

The child that books built
The child that books built

Kick off for the Festival is tomorrow – Robyn’s given us a good preview of Thursday’s food focused events.

There’s a free event in the Central Library (12pm – 1pm) that should be well worth a listen: The Child that books built. Author Francis Spufford will be in conversation with Bill Nagelkerke, author and former Children’s librarian here at Christchurch City Libraries.

It sounds like a good way to immerse yourself in the world of books – and for the next few days that’s the world our team of festival bloggers will be in!

Ay Caramba!

Finally I’ve found a travel book so terrifying in its intensity that it rivals my all time favourite the Accursed Mountains. That book chartered the chaos, tribalism and horror of post Communist Albania and firmly removed it from my list of must see places. A true one off (or so I thought) in that you really worry for the narrator’s life.

Bandit Roads
Bandit Roads

In Bandit Roads Richard Grant, bored of his mundane life, travels into the nightmarish North-West of Mexico. Few tourists visit the area and those who do risk rape or death. It’s a hellish place, akin to the setting of the Treasure of the Sierra Madre, full of sons of whorish mothers (his words), corrupt officals, murderous drugs barons, drunken tribes of Indians and people who would kill him without a thought. It begins with him taking cover from a gang of drug dealers intent on his death and ends with him wanting to do nothing more than write about the homes of the rich and famous.

He can’t say he wasn’t warned. On seeing a life sized statue of Christ, he asks why the eyes are covered with stickers. ‘”Senor”, comes the reply” Our Lord has already seen enough of this world’s sufferings”‘.

Covering an event (or R tags US)

Getting under the covers
Getting under the covers

A team of people from Christchurch City Libraries are attending the Christchurch Writer’s Festival and will be blogging and taking photos and interviewing the authors and others. The photos we will post to our Flickr set.

I am interested in anyone else who may be blogging, or adding photos to Flickr and if we can connect it all via a tag at technorati or Flickr. I would suggest the tag CWF08 – but you might also want to use a more human friendly one like Christchurch Writers Festival

I have had a brief look around to see who may already have blogged the festival already, and will make suggestions to them that they do this tagging.

Mark Sarvas has mentioned his presence at the event, as has Rachael King in Not Another Bloody Blog!

One has to guess that Bookman Beattie will have something or things to say (rumour has it he wont be bringing his fabled scooter) – while Catherine has decided not to attend the blogging session but is elated about other things at the festival. and , while Lumiere are Hungry For Words

If you are using any other web2ish thingy tell us.

Interview bonanza

As the Writers festival draws ever closer, we’ve added some new interviews to the website:

Joe & friend
Joe & friend

Maybe you can go back?

For thirty years Paul Theroux has been for me the master of travel writing. Vain, critical and humourless his writings have still been a must and far superior to his fiction. He has criticised New Zealand, slagged off the English, made me reappraise the worthiness of aid to Africa and fostered my desire to see foreign climes, preferably from the window of a long distance train.

Now thirty-three years after his first travel masterpiece, The Great Railway Bazaar, he has decided to retake the train journey from London via Turkey, India, S.E. Asia and Japan and back on the Trans-Siberian. Continue reading